An explosion of methane gas at OKD’s Darkov mine at Karvina killed three workers with another two injured, the ČTK agency announced on Friday morning. The accident happened just before midnight on Thursday as work was taking place underground. The injured are suffering from burns according to the tn.cz server. The mining company’s spokesman said the cause of the accident is being investigated by experts. Darkov escavates black or hard coal and is one of the few deep mines still functioning in the far east of the country.
The Interior Ministry on Friday opened a new detention facility for migrants in Vyšní Lhoty, in Moravia. The opening of the facility, originally scheduled for September, was speeded up due to a growing number of illegal migrants detained on Czech territory. It has a capacity of 220 beds and will be male-only. Up to 70 illegal migrants should be moved there from other camps by the end of the week. Most of them are from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.
Police in south Bohemia are reported to have detained 26 illegal migrants and the Slovak truck driver who tried to smuggle them to Germany. The migrants were uncovered during a routine road check Late on Thursday night and according to the police were travelling in inhumane conditions. Twenty six people –fifteen men, four women and seven children –were crammed in a small space with very little air. They had water, but no food, a police spokesperson said. The driver has been charged with people smuggling and if convicted could face up to five years in jail.
The Interior Ministry is asking for an extra one billion crowns to finance the extra costs brought about by the refugee crisis. Interior Minister Chovanec says the ministry will need to expend the ranks of its foreign police and pay for the opening and operation of additional asylum facilities. The expansion of the Bělá pod Bezdězem migrant facility to 700 beds cost 30 million crowns, the opening of the facility in Vyšní Lhoty 28 million and the Balková camp which is to open later will cost an additional 15 million, according to the minister. The government is to consider the demand at is session on August 20th.
Czech Airlines (ČSA) has announced that it is cancelling its air-link to Athens just six weeks after it was launched. ČSA operated two flights weekly to Athens in July and had originally planned to expand them to four in August. The reason cited is the Greek crisis, the poor payment morale of companies and instability on the market. The airline was originally targeted at Greek tourists visiting the Czech Republic.
A Prague 1 court has ordered a rare painting dating back to 1350, Madona z Veveří, to be returned to the Czech Catholic Church. The verdict is not legally binding and the National Gallery which currently holds the painting, may appeal the decision. The Catholic Church staked a claim for the painting which it apparently owned for centuries before it became part of the National Gallery collection in 1958. The gallery refused to give it up on the grounds that the parish lost it before the onset of the communist regime, sometime in the late 1930s, and so it could not be reclaimed within the church restitution law.
The Czech Republic faces a diminished threat of terrorist attack this year according, to an evaluation produced by the consultancy Aon Belgium. The country’s risk is categorized as negligible, along with Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. Most European countries are given the higher ‘low’ risk label with France standing out in the higher medium risk category. The Czech Republic is one of 21 countries where the risk of terrorism is regarded by the study as having receded in the last 12 months.
The Czech Republic is experiencing a tropical heatwave with temperatures expected to reach 38 degrees Celsius and possibly even break the absolute record of 40.4 degrees Celsius dating back to 2012. The authorities have issued health warnings in connection with the extreme heat and a high-level-fire-risk warning remains in place. Extreme weather conditions are expected to continue for the next ten days at least, with this summer predicted to be the hottest on record.
Vets are investigating massive losses of fish at two locations in central Bohemia. One incident happened at Mlázovice lake north of Prague where the locals found thousands of dead fish –amounting to approximately a ton -which are believed to have died due to a low concentration of oxygen and another 200 kg of fish was lost at the Rokytka stream in Prague where vets suspect a possible contamination of the water.
In football, Jablonec earned a surprise 3:2 win away in the second leg of the Europa League qualifier against FC Copenhagen on Thursday night and continue on the away goal rule after losing at home 0:1. The Czech team took a two goal lead before the Danes fought back in spite of being down to 10 men. Jablonec survived a tense and often desperate last 10 minutes to hold onto the victory. In the same competition, neighbours Liberec won 3:0 against Israeli team HK Shmona following their first leg 2:1 victory.