BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Europe
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 



The BBC's Sarah Rainsford
"Emergency services are looking for another three people who are still missing"
 real 28k

Sunday, 6 May, 2001, 11:37 GMT 12:37 UK
Seven killed in Ukraine mine blast
Rescue workers signing a health and safety book
Ukraine's mines are notoriously dangerous for workers
At least seven miners have been killed, and another three are missing, feared dead, after a powerful explosion ripped through a shaft at a coal mine in eastern Ukraine.

Officials say more than 150 miners were working underground at the Kirov pit near the city of Donetsk when the methane gas blast occurred on Saturday evening.

So far, they have retrieved seven bodies, but are still searching for the other miners.


Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has expressed his condolences to the relatives of the victims.

A government commission headed by Deputy Prime Minister Oleh Dubyna has been set up to investigate the accident.

The Emergency Service Ministry was quoted as saying three other miners had died at three different coal mines on Saturday, all as a result of violating safety rules.

Deadly methane
Naturally occurring gas
Seeps out of coal seams
Builds up in poorly-ventilated shifts
The death rate in Ukrainian mines is among the highest in the world. At least 300 miners died last year.

That included the country's worst accident, at the Barakova mine, in Krasnodon, when 80 people were killed.

Investment shortages

BBC correspondents say shoddy working practices and low safety standards in Soviet times caused many mishaps.

And since it gained its independence in 1991, Ukraine has been too poor to devote the necessary resources to improving matters.

Ukraine has 400,000 coal workers and more than 200 mines, concentrated in the Donbass coal region in the east of the country.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

12 Mar 00 | Europe
Ukraine's troubled mines
26 Apr 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Ukraine
12 Mar 00 | Europe
Ukraine mine blast kills 80
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories