- POSTED: 12 Jun 2014 18:38
- UPDATED: 12 Jun 2014 18:40
Nine miners were missing on Thursday after a gas explosion ripped through an underground coal mine in eastern Ukraine, authorities said.
KIEV: Nine miners were missing on Thursday after a gas explosion ripped through an underground coal mine in eastern Ukraine, authorities said.
The blast happened before dawn at a depth of 300 metres (1,000 feet) in the mine, located in the eastern city of Kirovsk, the State Emergency Service said in a statement.
Work in the mine was immediately halted, but more than three hours later there were still no signs of the missing miners, the statement said.
Accidents are a regular feature at Ukrainian mines, most of which are located in the country's industrial eastern region, where pro-Russian rebels now control over a dozen towns and cities.
Many of them are underfunded and poorly equipped, and safety violations are rife.
In the worst accident of its kind in the country's post-Soviet history, more than 100 miners were killed in an explosion in 2007 at the Zasyadko mine, one of the three biggest in Ukraine.