At least sixty-three miners were killed and nearly fifty wounded, some of them critically, in a methane-gas explosion on April 4 at the Skochinsky coal mine near Donetsk. The same mine was the scene of a similar explosion in 1992 that killed seventeen workers. The Ukrainian government has declared a day of national mourning, and the Donbas three.
Similar explosions have occurred at other Soviet-era Donbas mines as well, mainly due to both wear and lack of funding for protection measures. Last year, 290 Ukrainian coal workers died in mine accidents. (UNIAN, April 4; Western agencies, April 5)
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