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Death Toll Climbs In Twin Ukraine Mining Disasters


The damaged Bazhanov coal mine in the town of Makeyevka in Donetsk region, where the collapse of a headframe was said to have caused the tragedy.
The death toll has risen to 25 from two separate coal mining accidents in eastern Ukraine on July 29.

The Emergency Situations Ministry said 18 miners were confirmed dead from an explosion at a coal mine in the eastern Luhansk region. Eight miners were still missing and two remained hospitalized with serious burns after the blast, likely caused by a buildup of methane gas.

In the neighboring Donetsk region, the toll climbed to seven from a shaft-lift collapse at a mine in the town of Makiyivka, while rescuers continued to search for five missing miners.

Officials have declared July 31 a day of national mourning for the dead miners.

Ukraine's coal mines are considered among the most dangerous in the world due to outdated equipment and widespread disregard for safety regulations, with a grim list of recent tragedies.

President Viktor Yanukovych traveled to the scene of the accident in Luhansk on July 29 and promised a government investigation.

compiled from agency reports