Any hope of finding survivors in one of Europe's deadliest mining accidents ended on Thursday, as rescue workers recovered the last body of 23 miners killed in the disaster in southern Poland.
"The discovery of the last body brings rescue operations to an end," said Zbigniew Madej, spokesman for the KW company, which operates the Halemba mine at Ruda Slaska in Poland's Silesian coalbelt.
Some 26 miners had been working in a mine shaft 1,000 metres underground when it was rocked by a massive gas explosion on Tuesday afternoon.
Three made it back to the surface and rescue workers initially recovered six bodies, all too badly charred to be identified.
Families kept a vigil outside the mine as rescue teams searched for the remaining 15 miners, but all hopes were finally dashed as the last of the bodies was brought to the surface.