Blast in a coal mine in Donetsk, Ukraine

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Eastern shaft of the Zasyadko coal mine.

Another blast shook the Ukrainian coal mine Zasyadko in Donetsk, where over 100 miners died in a methane blast in November. According to the United Press International news agency, 52 miners were injured. The ITAR TASS news agency reports also that most of them suffered carbon monoxide poisoning and were taken to an occupational diseases treatment clinic, while seven were hospitalised at the central hospital of the Donetsk region.

Marina Nikitina, a local officer of the Ukrainian's industrial safety agency Gosgorpromnadzor, informed the press that all of the 385 miners who were underground when the explosion occurred, have been already evacuated. According to her, the blast took place at 5.55 a.m. EET (UTC+2) in an isolated part of the collery at the deep of 1078 metres, where 63 people were working. A Ukrainian TV channel Kanal 5 reports the disaster has been caused by a methane blast. It informs also that Vitalij Shevchenko, the mine's general engineer, has been ousted from his post by the Ukrainian mining supervision.

It is the second explosion in two weeks that happened in the pit. The November 18 blast is regarded among the Ukrainian media as the worst coal-mining disaster in Ukraine's post-Soviet history.

Today's blast is a part of deadly series of accidents in the Ukrainian coal mining industry; in the Donetsk region alone about 200 people have died this year.