Moscow, Jul 29: At least 20 miners were killed and 17 others went missing in two separate accidents at coal mines in Ukraine today, officials said. Sixteen miners were killed instantly after an explosion in a coal mine in the Lugansk region in eastern Ukraine early today.
The blast took place in the Sukhodolsk-Vostochnaya coal mine at Krasnodon in the Lugansk region. A total of 28 people were working at the pit when the explosion occurred, Interfax reported quoting disaster management authorities of Ukraine.
Another three workers received burns and other injuries and were hospitalised. One of the injured died later of his wounds. The two injured were in a grave condition. The authorities said that the fate of 9 miners remains unknown.
Officials did not provide details on the cause of the blast. Most of the country's mine disasters have been caused by build-ups of methane gas.
In a separate accident, three miners were killed when an elevator collapse at the state-controlled Bazhanova mine in the town of Makiyivka in the neighbouring Donetsk region. Eight workers were missing and officials said it appeared they were still alive but trapped under the rubble. Today's twin disasters were the country's worst mining accidents since more than 100 miners were killed in a mine explosion in 2007.
Deadly accidents are frequent in Ukrainian mines, with many of them are poorly equipped. PTI