23 Miners Rescued in Ukraine, 13 Still Trapped

June 9, 2008
Rescuers in Ukraine working to free miners who were trapped following an explosion have so far brought 23 miners safely to the surface. One other miner was found dead, and 13 remain trapped underground.

According to media reports, a methane gas explosion ripped through the Karl Marx mine on June 8, trapping 37 miners thousands of feet underground. Rescue teams are working to evacuate miners through a ventilation shaft.

The explosion, which occurred approximately 3,300 feet underground, caused widespread damage to the mine. The ventilation shaft used for rescue has been pushed down to the level where the explosion occurred in attempts to rescue the remaining miners.

A spokesperson for the regional mine safety inspectorate told Reuters that evacuating miners through the narrow ventilation shaft will be a lengthy process that could take hours.

Reuters also reported that five people on the surface were injured after being struck by equipment propelled by the explosion, which witnesses described as one of the “most powerful” blasts in the industry.

Operations at the Karl Marx mine, located in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, were suspended days before the blast because of concerns surrounding the mine’s safety conditions. Miners were completing maintenance work at the time of the explosion.

About the Author

Laura Walter

Laura Walter was formerly senior editor of EHS Today. She is a subject matter expert in EHS compliance and government issues and has covered a variety of topics relating to occupational safety and health. Her writing has earned awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the Trade Association Business Publications International (TABPI) and APEX Awards for Publication Excellence. Her debut novel, Body of Stars (Dutton) was published in 2021.

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