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Mine Blast In Eastern Ukraine Kills Seven

Employees walk near the Skochynskyy Mine outside Donetsk on April 11.
Seven people have been killed in a coal mine blast caused by a gas leakage near Ukraine's eastern city of Donetsk.

Local authorities say 53 miners were working at a depth of 1,300 meters when the accident occurred on April 11 at the Skochynskyy Mine.

Eight miners were hospitalized with injuries and four of them are in critical condition.

Acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov held a minute of silence in parliament in Kyiv on April 11 to commemorate the victims.

Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan told parliament that there had been violations of safety regulations and the Prosecutor-General's Office formally opened an inquiry into the circumstances of the accident.

Donetsk is part of the Donbas coal-mining region, which has been hit by pro-Russian separatist protests in recent weeks.
Based on reporting by UNIAN, AFP, AP, and Reuters