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Ukrainian Coal Mine Blast Kills 13

Ukrainian coal miners (file photo) (AFP) September 20, 2006 -- Authorities say a coal mine explosion in eastern Ukraine has killed at least 13 miners.

A spokesman for Ukraine's Emergency Situations Ministry initially said the blast at Zasyadko mine in the eastern Donetsk region, occurred after "a sudden leak of mixture of coal and gas."

However, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Andriy Klyuyev later told RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service that there was no explosion or fire inside the mine.

Rescue workers are currently bringing injured miners to the surface. Klyuyev said 61 had been taken to hospital for examination.

Some 400 other miners who were working in the mine at the time of the blast were evacuated.

Nearly 4,300 miners have been killed in accidents in Ukrainian mines since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

(AP, Reuters)

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