Pope Benedict XVI offered his condolences and prayers to the people of Ukraine after an explosion in a coal mine left at least 90 miners dead, according to the Catholic News Agency. Papal prayers for the victims, their families and the people of Ukraine were expressed in a telegram signed by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state.

The telegram, addressed to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, said the pope asked the Lord for "heavenly consolation for the injured and those suffering from the dramatic loss of their loved ones." In addition to the 90 found dead after the Nov. 17 explosion at the Zasyadko mine near Donetsk, dozens of injured workers were rescued. At least 10 miners remained unaccounted for late Nov. 20.