MOSCOW, 5 March. /TASS/. The Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations is ready to help in search-and-rescue work at the Zasyadko coal mine in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, where nine people remain unaccounted for after a methane explosion on Wednesday, the ministry’s press service has told TASS, referring to the telegram emergencies minister Vladimir Puchkov sent to his counterpart in Ukraine.
"In line with the April 23, 1997 agreement between the Russian and Ukrainian governments on cooperation in preventing industrial accidents, catastrophes, natural calamities and liquidation of their aftermath, we are ready to offer necessary assistance in search-and-rescue work, "said the telegram.
Puchkov said he expected a quick response, citing years long positive experience of joint reaction to emergency situations.
An explosion occurred at the Zasyadko coal mine overnight to Wednesday. According to the Donetsk Mayor’s Office, there were 230 people inside at the moment. The death of 24 miners has been confirmed and the fate of nine miners is still unclear, said Yuliana Bedilo, spokesperson for the emergencies ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
The Zasyadko mine is a coal producing enterprise in Donetsk. It was commissioned in 1958. The mine has seen five serious accidents over the past 15 years. The most serious one of them took the lives of 101 miners on November 18, 2007.
Two weeks later another explosion injured 52 miners. A third mine blast the day after claimed the lives of five rescuers working to liquidate the aftermath of the explosion, and left more than 30 people injured.