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80 killed, 20 missing in Ukraine's coalmine blast
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10:07, November 20, 2007

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The death toll in Sunday's coalmine blast in eastern Ukraine has climbed to 80 while the fate of 20 others is still unclear, Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister Andry Kliuev said on Monday.

Kliuev, heading a governmental commission probing into the accident at the scene, said that 66 bodies have been brought to the ground by now, according to the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

He said there have 30 injured miners in hospitals, one of them was in a very serious condition, others were diagnosed with gas poisoning.

The methane explosion occurred at the Zasyadka mine in the Donetsk region at a depth of more than 1,000 meters at 3:11 a.m. local time (0111 GMT) on Nov. 18. The Donetsk region is about 640 kilometers southeast of the capital, Kiev.

Local authorities declared three days of mourning for dead miners in the Donetsk region from Nov. 19.

The Zasyadko mine, one of Ukraine's largest, produces up to 10,000 tonnes of coal every day. But several deadly accidents took place at the coal mine in recent years.

A gas leak at the Zasyadko mine in September 2006 killed 13 miners. In 1999 an explosion there claimed 50 lives, while in 2001another blast claimed 55 lives.

Before this Sunday's explosion, Ukraine's most deadly mine accident was in March 2000, when 80 miners were killed in an explosion at the Barakov coalmine in the eastern region of Luhansk.

Source: Xinhua



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