Published June 14, 2012
One person was seriously injured Thursday as coal miners in northern Spain blocked roads and railways on the 18th day of protests against government plans to slash subsidies to the coal sector.
A 43-year-old train passenger received a severe blow to the head when the train collided with a barricade of tree trunks just outside the town of Serin in the Asturias region.
One of the tree trunks struck a window on the train, according to sources with the Civil Guard, which has launched an investigation.
The collision shut down the line and led to delays in other parts of the region's rail system.
In the northwestern region of Leon, hundreds of miners and their families held marches in solidarity with a total of 13 men trapped at two different mines in the area.
Many of the marchers wore T-shirts bearing the message: S.O.S. Mining in danger of extinction.
Miners in Asturias and Leon have been on strike for nearly three weeks to protest projected cuts of more than 60 percent in government support for the coal mining industry as part of a wide-ranging austerity program.
Reductions of that magnitude will lead "to the shutdown of coal mining and the abandonment of the mining districts to their fate," Spain's largest labor federation, the UGT, said. EFE