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Tuesday, May 25, 1999 Published at 06:04 GMT 07:04 UK


World: Europe

Ukraine mine blast kills 35



Rescue work is continuing at a Ukrainian coal mine after a powerful explosion killed 35 miners.


The BBC's Helen Sawyer: The latest in a string of mining accidents
More than 30 were injured and many others are believed to be trapped underground in the mine, near the town of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

Officials said most of the 35 people killed in the blast were so badly charred that they have not yet been identified.


[ image: President Leonid Kuchma: To attend funerals]
President Leonid Kuchma: To attend funerals
Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, who is due to arrive in Donetsk on Tuesday on a scheduled two-day visit, has declared Wednesday a day of national mourning.

The Interfax-Ukraine news agency said he planned to attend the miners' funeral.

Officials said 130 miners were underground when natural gas from the coal deposits exploded.

They said 28 of them were in the area of the blast, 1,055 metres underground.

Deputy Donetsk Mayor Leonid Lavrov said the bodies of only seven miners have been identified.

So far this year at least 100 people have lost their lives in accidents in Ukraine's ageing and poorly-equipped coal mines.

According to official data, a total of 358 Ukrainian miners lost their lives in accidents last year.



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16 Aug 98 | Europe
Ukraine mine explosion kills 24





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