At Least Nine Killed, One Wounded In Eastern Ukraine Coal Mine Blast

KIEV, Ukraine -- At least nine miners were killed and one wounded when a blast rocked a coal mine in eastern Ukraine early Wednesday. Rescuers evacuated 172 miners, a spokesman for the Ukrainian emergencies ministry said.

"As of 9:00 AM Kiev time [6:00 GMT] 172 miners have been evacuated from the mine," the spokesman said. "We found 10 miners, nine of them dead and one wounded. The fate of 39 miners remains unknown."

Earlier in the day, the spokesman said 43 miners were missing.

Ukrainian television Channel Five reported different figures, saying 11 miners were killed, 10 wounded and hospitalized and 28 missing after the tragedy at the Zasyadko coal mine in Donetsk.

The spokesman for the ministry said earlier the blast was caused by the sudden ejection of a coal and gas mixture, and added the missing miners were working 1,078 meters [3,537 feet] below ground at the moment of the tragedy.

The spokesman said work at the mine was stopped, as 56 rescue teams work at the scene.

This incident follows another coal mine blast in eastern Ukraine when at least six miners lost their lives in August.

Source: RIA Novosti