ROME - A Sardinian miner slashed his wrist in front of television cameras on Wednesday as some 100 fellow workers stayed barricaded underground in a campaign to keep Italy's only coal pit open.
"We cannot take it any more. We cannot! We cannot!" Stefano Meletti, 49, shouted to reporters in a dark chamber of the Carbosulcis mine, where miners armed with explosives have locked themselves in since Sunday night.
"If someone here has decided to the kill miners' families, ladies and gentlemen, we'll cut ourselves, we'll cut ourselves," the helmeted miner said, grabbing a knife from his back pocket and hacking twice at his arm.
Two startled miners standing beside Meletti during an impromptu underground press conference grabbed his arms and tackled him to the ground.
Meletti, who has worked at the mine for 24 years, was taken to a nearby hospital where doctors said his condition was stable.