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Donetsk official does not confirm 32 people died in coal mine explosion

March 04, 2015, 12:36 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The official says it's unethical to call the people trapped inside the mine dead until rescuers find them

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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, March 4. /TASS/. Head of Kievsky and Kuybyshevsky districts of Donetsk Ivan Prikhodko has not confirmed Wednesday that an explosion at Zasyadko coal mine killed 30 people.

"For now, I can only say that there are 32 people trapped underground. One person is killed. Until rescuers reach them, it is at least unethical to talk about their death," the Donetsk News Agency quoted Prikhodko as saying.

Earlier today, Verkhovna Rada Speaker Volodymyr Groysman said that 32 people were killed in the explosion at the Zasyadko coal mine in Donetsk.

"A terrible tragedy has occurred at 4:15am [local time] today. An explosion rocked the Zasyadko coal mine, 32 people died," he said.

However, press secretary of the emergencies ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Yuliana Bedilo said one person was killed in the explosion. "According to preliminary information, 73 people are trapped underground, one person died in the explosion, and 14 more people were injured," Bedilo said.

The explosion was presumably caused by gas mixture. The DPR emergencies ministry added that a rescue operation is underway.

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