Deadly coal mine blast in western Ukraine

  • Published

At least eight miners have been killed after a methane explosion in a coal mine in western Ukraine.

Emergency officials said 34 miners were working in the area of the blast, about 500m underground. Six injured were brought to the surface soon afterwards.

The incident took place at 12:46 local time (10:46 GMT) at the mine in the Sokal district of Lviv region.

The other 20 miners were initially trapped but were rescued a few hours later, apparently unharmed.

There were 172 miners working at the pit at the time.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared the country to be in mourning. He said all coal mines would undergo new safety inspections.

Ukraine has frequent mining accidents, though this was the first in 2017.

Most of the country's coal is in the Donbas region in the east, in an area currently ravaged by conflict with Russian-backed rebels.