Sunday, December 21, 2014


Ukraine's Killer Coal Industry

Rescue workers smoke during a break at the Sukhodilsk Skhidna coal mine in Luhansk on July 29, when 17 miners were confirmed dead and nine were still under rubble from a methane explosion.
Rescue workers smoke during a break at the Sukhodilsk Skhidna coal mine in Luhansk on July 29, when 17 miners were confirmed dead and nine were still under rubble from a methane explosion.
Two deadly mine accidents struck in a single day in eastern Ukraine on July 29. A methane explosion claimed the lives of 17 miners in the Luhansk region, where nine miners are still under the rubble caused by the explosion.

Just hours later, a collapsed elevator in the Bazhana mine in the Donetsk region resulted in the deaths of four people, according to the Ukrainian Emergency Situations Ministry. Seven mine workers were still missing.

Ukraine's coal mines are considered among the most dangerous in the world. They are poorly financed and take only rudimentary safety precautions. Most accidents are caused by methane explosions. According to miners unions, each ton of coal costs the lives of four miners.

The Sukhodilsk Skhidna mine, where the July 29 methane explosion occurred, is operated by the Krasnodonvuhillia company, which belongs to Renat Akhmetov, Ukraine's richest man.

Here are some of Ukraine's largest mine accidents of the past decade and a half:
2007 Zasyadko mine, Donetsk region, 57 dead
2007 Zasyadko mine, Donetsk region, methane explosion, 101 dead
2006  Zasyadko mine, Donetsk region, methane emission, 13 dead
2006 Sukhodolska Skhidna, Krasnodon, Luhansk region, methane explosion, 6 dead
2004 Chervonolymanska mine, Donetsk region, methane explosion, 37 dead
2002 Yuvileyna, Dnipropetrovsk region, methane explosion 6 dead
2002 Zasyadko mine, Donetsk region, 20 dead
2002 Ukraina mine, Donetsk region, underground fire, 35 dead
2002 Krasnoarmiyska Zakhidna mine, Donetsk region, methane explosion, 5 dead
2001 Zasyadko mine, Donetsk region, 55 dead
2001 Kirov mine, methane explosion, 10 dead
2000 Krasnolymanska mine, methane explosion, 9 dead
2000 Barakov mine, Luhansk region, methane explosion, 81 dead
1999 Zasyadko mine, Donetsk region, methane explosion, 55 dead
1998 XIX Party Congress mine, Luhansk region, methane explosion, 24 dead
1998 Skochynsk mine, Donetsk region, methane explosion, 63 dead

-- Irena Chalupa

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