Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Friday, July 29, 2011

Ukraine coal mine accidents kill 18

A blast at one coal mine in eastern Ukraine and an elevator collapse at another on Friday killed at least 18 people, officials said. Rescuers were still searching for a total 20 miners missing at both mines.

The twin accidents in eastern mining regions shocked the country and highlighted the persistent dangers of the Ukrainian mining industry, believed to be one of the world's most dangerous because of outdated equipment and widespread disregard for safety regulations.

The pre-dawn blast at the notoriously dangerous Suhodilska-Eastern mine in the Luhansk region killed 17 workers and left nine missing. Investigators suspect the accident was caused by a powerful explosion of methane, the Luhansk regional administration said in a statement.

The blast hit the mine shortly before 2 a.m. Friday at a depth of 915 metres when miners were working the night shift.

Emergency Situations Ministry photos showed worried relatives of the miners talking nervously to officials and rescue workers outside the mine's headquarters, as medical and emergency trucks were parked nearby. (more)