37 Miners Trapped After Ukraine Explosion

Biggest-ever Ukraine coal mine blast
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 8, 2008 8:31 AM CDT
Miners walk near the Karl Marx coal mine's ground offices, background, damaged by an underground explosion in the Donetsk, Ukraine mine.   (AP Photo/Photomig)
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(Newser) – A massive explosion in a Ukrainian coal mine trapped at least 37 miners and injured four others above ground, the AP reports. Several buildings were flattened. The mine had been ruled too dangerous to use, and the miners had been working to improve conditions. It was the biggest blast in Ukrainian coal-mining history. Rescuers were racing to the scene.

“The mine will likely be closed down,” the deputy PM added. Since the fall of the USSR, 4,800 Ukrainian miners have lost their lives; for every million tons of coal mined in the country, three workers die, officials say.