Five Coal Miners Killed in Explosion in Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine -- An explosion ripped through a coal mine in Ukraine’s western Lviv region Sunday, killing five miners and seriously injuring three others, the Ministry for Emergency Situations said in a statement.

Three miners were killed instantly, and two others later died in a hospital. Another three miners were badly injured, the statement said.

Ukrainian Miners on a Break

The methane gas explosion at the Lesnaya mine near the town of Silets occurred when 56 miners were working 550 meters (1,800 feet) underground.

Ukrainian prosecutors launched an investigation into the accident, the ministry’s statement said.

Since the 1991 Soviet collapse, nearly 4,300 miners have died in Ukrainian coal mines, which are considered among the world’s most dangerous.

The mines are plagued by high concentrations of methane gas, safety violations, negligence and old equipment. More than 75 percent of Ukraine’s 200 coal mines are classified as dangerous.

Last week, two miners died in another incident in Ukraine’s east. Last July, a methane explosion in the eastern Donetsk region killed 31 miners in the country’s worst mine accident in years.

Source: AP