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Monday, 13 March, 2000, 13:03 GMT
Funerals of Ukraine mine disaster begin


The funerals have been taking place of some of the eighty-one people who died in a mine explosion in Ukraine at the weekend.

Five of the men were buried in the town of Krasnodon, in the Luhansk region, where the accident took place.

The other casualties will be buried on Tuesday and Wednesday.

As specialists from the Fuel and Energy Ministry conduct tests to find out the cause of the disaster, the prime minister of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, called for many of the country's unsafe and unprofitable mines to be shut down, while other officials demanded more funding for the coal industry to prevent future accidents. The accident was the worst in a series of mine disasters in Ukraine since the country became independent after the break-up of the Soviet Union.

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