AN ongoing miners' strike has caused widespread chaos throughout the northern region of Asturias, with demonstrators blocking roads and train-tracks, leaving 214 passengers stuck on the high-speed Madrid-Gijón line.
Now into its 11th day, the picket – which was sparked by government cutback announcements – is gathering strength, with sit-ins, hundreds of protesters cutting off major highways, a huge concrete beam thrown across the railway line linking Asturias with the capital and the power lines sabotaged.
Two Alvia trains have been held up since 11.00hrs this morning, one in Pola de Lena (Asturias) and another in La Pola de Gordón (León).
The N-630 in Ciñera (Asturias) is now impassable in either direction due to rocks and stones piled all over the carriageway, and the A-8 motorway across the region is inaccessible from Colunga onwards due to a huge barricade being installed across all four lanes.
And the A-66 Gijón-Sevilla motorway has only just been cleared after protesters laid a massive fallen tree across the carriageway.
Crowds have blocked the east- and west-bound carriageways of the A-6 Madrid-A Coruña motorway and the N-VI trunk road.
A sit-in on the street outside the MPs' office in Oviedo has been ongoing since Monday and is set to continue, as is a lock-in of 10 miners in the pits at Candín and Santiago.