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32 people confirmed killed in coal mine explosion in eastern Ukraine

March 05, 2015, 9:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to the Donetsk Mayor’s Office, 230 people were inside at the moment of the blast

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© AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

MOSCOW, March 5. /TASS/. The death toll in the Zasyadko coal mine explosion in Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, has reached 32, the official spokesperson for the emergencies ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said on Thursday.

"Out of 32 miners, who had stayed underground at the Zasyadko mine for a long time, 31 people were found dead. That’s why the death toll in the blast has grown to 32. The search for another miner by the Emergencies Ministry is ongoing," Yuliana Bedilo was quoted by the Donetsk news agency as saying.

The accident, which was likely caused by a methane explosion, occurred at the Zasyadko coal mine overnight to Wednesday. According to the Donetsk Mayor’s Office, 230 people were inside at the moment of the blast.

Russia’s Emergencies Ministry has earlier offered assistance in the search-and-rescue work at the mine.

The Zasyadko mine 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 there. A third mine blast the day after claimed the lives of five rescuers involved in the relief effort in the aftermath of the explosion, and left more than 30 people injured.

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