Condolences and messages of support pouring in

Condolences and messages of support for the injured and the families of the victims are pouring in from politicians and members of the public.

President Zeman and Prime Minister Babiš said they were deeply saddened by the terrible tragedy, adding that their thoughts were with the families who had lost loved ones and the miners recovering in hospital.

Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček said the matter must be thoroughly investigated in order to ascertain whether the tragedy was not caused by negligence.

Condolences have also come from EC President Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Council Donald Tusk.

The mayor of the near-by town of Stonavy has appealed to the locals to tone down Christmas and New Year celebrations, saying this was a time for reflection. Ostrava will dim the lights on dominant buildings in recognition of the tragedy and black flags were hoisted on many buildings in memory of those killed.

A special account has been set up to help the families of the victims.