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Three Ukrainian Miners Rescued, Six Dead Or Missing

KYIV -- Rescue operations at the Novodzerzhynska coal mine in Ukraine's Donetsk region continue for three miners trapped after a mineshaft collapsed, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

The accident occurred on May 4 in a pit that is nearly 600 meters deep.

Fourteen miners were working directly in the area of the collapse, but five managed to reach the surface. Three miners were found alive on May 7, along with the bodies of three others killed in the accident.

The State Safety Agency says more than 100 safety inspections have been conducted in the Novodzerzhynska coal mines this year, including the area that caved in, which was inspected 14 times. It was deemed unsafe eight times.

Coal-mining accidents are common in Ukraine where safety precautions are often disregarded in an attempt to meet ever-greater quotas.

Most accidents, however, occur due to methane explosions.

Hundreds of miners have died in Ukrainian mines since 1992.