Three miners, who were underground following a controlled potash mine blast, have died.
The men were trapped in a 700 metre deep shaft following a controlled explosion that caused a severe carbon dioxide leak, according to Reuters.
While four miners did manage to escape, the remaining three died after breathing the released carbon dioxide at the K+S's Werra operation, in the German state of Thueringia, near the town of Unterbreizbach.
"A carbon dioxide leak occurred to an extent we did not expect after an explosion, and this led to the people dying," Rainer Gerling, the operation's manager, told a news conference.
"After the explosions, we carry out checks to see how much carbon dioxide is in the mine. This was the actual job of these employees, and they were then surprised by the occurrence of CO2 on the site," he added.
K+S is investigating the accident.