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MOSCOW, March 5. /TASS/. A total of 33 miners died as a result of the latest industrial accident on the Zasyadko coalmine in Donetsk, the Emergencies Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexey Kostrubitsky said.
"Search and rescue operations were over by 19:00 hours on Thursday and breathless bodies of 33 miners were found," he told a news briefing at the Donetsk News Agency. "All of them have been lifted to the surface."
As many as fifteen rescued workers have been taken to city hospitals.
An explosion at the Zasyadko coalmine took place in the morning of March 4 when 230 coalminers were down in the pits. It is believed that the explosion was caused by methane.
Officials at the Office of the Prosecutor General said a criminal cases citing Article 248 of the DPR Criminal Code (irregularities during mining works that result in the deaths of two or more people) had been instituted.
Zasyadko coalmine, which is located in the Kievsky district of Donetsk, is a coalmining enterprise that was commissioned for operations in 1958. It has been widely recognized as the champion in terms of industrial accidents among Ukrainian mines.
No less than five large accidents have occurred there over the past five years. The three explosions that happened there in 2007 took away the lives of 206 people.