Death toll of Donetsk coalmine accident reaches 11

13:36, 12 June 2009
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One more miner was found at night

The number of miners, who died at the Skochinsky Mine of Donetsk on Monday as a result of an outburst of firedamp, grew to reach 11 by Friday morning. The dead body of one more miner was found at night. Rescuers so far fail to retrieve the body, sources from the territorial branch of the State Industrial Inspectorate told Itar-Tass.

The body of the tenth miner found on Thursday was retrieved from under the debris last night and brought to the surface. The bodies of nine miners were found in three preceding days. They have already been buried in Donetsk.

The fate of two more miners remains unclear. Rescuers together with miners work to remove debris of coal and rock at the depth of 1,250 meters where firedamp still transpires. Only life support systems are functioning in the mine.

A sudden outburst of firedamp and rock took place in the second western wall face of the mine at 10:26, Kyiv time, on Monday. There were 344 miners underground. According to specified reports, 53 of them were staying right in the area of the accident. 39 miners got up to the surface by themselves, and eleven dead bodies were found by rescue workers. Two miners were gravely injured. Two miners are still missing. Rescue workers continue the search operation.

The Skochinsky Mine was put in operation in 1975. It is the youngest of Donetsk coalmines. The Skochinsky Mine produces top-quality coking coal at a depth exceeding one kilometre. At the same time, it is regarded as one of the most dangerous mines because of sudden outbursts of coal, firedamp and rock, as well as high explosive power of coal dust. Some ten powerful explosions and numerous accidents have taken place in the underground faces of the mine since the beginning of its operation, claiming the lives of several hundred workers.


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