Seven miners were killed and nine injured when a gas explosion ripped through a state-owned coal mine in eastern Ukraine, officials said today. The blast occurred yesterday at a depth of around 800 metres (2,600 feet) while some 90 workers were on shift at the mine in Makiyivka in Ukraine’s mineral-rich Donetsk region.
“Seven miners were killed and nine hospitalised,” the emergency situations service said in a statement. The bodies of all the victims had been recovered by early on Tuesday and work at the mine has been suspended, the statement said. Fatal accidents are a regular feature at Ukrainian mines, most of which are located in the country’s industrial eastern region. Many of the mines are underfunded and poorly equipped, and safety violations are rife.
In the worst accident of its kind in the country’s post-Soviet history, more than 100 miners were killed in an explosion in 2007 at the Zasyadko mine, one of the three biggest in Ukraine.