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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Ukraine: Methane blast in Donetsk coal mine left at least 33 miners dead

Coal miners after the explosion
(Image: Daily Mail)
Methane explosion went off in Donetsk Zasyadko’s coal mine on Wednesday, 4 March, early in the morning. More than 200 miners were in the mine, under the ground, at the moment of an explosion.

The tragedy happened on the territories occupied and controlled by the Russian forces and pro-Russian DNR rebels, what makes an investigation of this terrible accident and rescue operation as well too complicated.

There were conflicting reports regarding the number of dead and wounded when the accident happened, as Ukrainian officials reported about 3 dead and 5 wounded, while at 47 miners were reported to be missing. Meanwhile, DNR (Donetsk People’s Republic) sources claimed that more than 30 miners died and more than 70 were missing as a result of an explosion.

As for the situation on Tuesday evening, it was officially declared that 33 miners were killed as a result of a methane explosion in the mines. The bodies of seven miners were already taken out of the mines. There are also dozens of wounded as well.

The Zasyadko’s coal mine is among the oldest coal mines in Donetsk region and it is located on the territories torn by war and occupied by the terrorists. It’s worth mentioning that Ukrainian rescue team wasn’t allowed to enter the territory, controlled by the rebels, and it did not have access to the accident site, while only DNR rescue team was working there. DNR representatives share information about the accident unwillingly, what complicates an investigation.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko demanded the rebels to allow Ukrainian rescue and investigation teams to enter the area of the accident. In addition to that Ukrainian President called on OSCE to form special monitoring unit to investigate the accident at the mines.

Later on Wednesday Petro Poroshenko has issued presidential decree declaring Thursday, 5 March, the day of national mourning for the dead miners.