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Eight Dead In Ukraine Mine Blast

KYIV (Reuters) -- A methane explosion at a pit in eastern Ukraine's Donbass coalfield, plagued by recurring accidents, has killed eight miners and injured five, industry officials were quoted as saying.

The coal industry's safety directorate, quoted by Interfax news agency, said the blast occurred late on the afternoon of August 23 at the Kirov mine in Makeyevka, outside Donetsk, the coalfield's main center.

It said 141 miners had been underground at the colliery at the time of the blast.

Five were being treated in hospital for various injuries.

Explosions, many caused by a buildup of methane gas, are frequent occurrrences in the Donbass coalfield's often aging and uneconomic collieries, despite campaigns by authorities to improve safety.