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Scores of miners trapped underground in Ukraine rescued, says trade union chief

April 03, 12:19 UTC+3 KIEV

More than 200 miners employed at a state-run enterprise on the Kiev-controlled territory of the Lugansk Region who were earlier trapped underground have been lifted to the surface

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© Mikhail Pochuev/TASS

KIEV, April 2. /TASS/. More than 200 miners employed at the Pervomaiskugol state-run enterprise on the Kiev-controlled territory of the Lugansk Region who were earlier trapped underground due to a power outage have been lifted to the surface, Head of the Independent Trade Union of Ukraine’s Miners, Mikhail Volynets, informed TASS on Tuesday.

"Yesterday, 240 miners found themselves in a kind of a black hole due to the power outage at the Pervomaiskugol state-run enterprise, because the mine shaft elevators were turned off. After that, the miners decided to climb to the surface on their own using the stairways but were unable to do so due a large amount of water. Then a decision was made to turn on the electricity for 80 minutes so that 240 miners could go up to the surface," he said.

Volynets stressed that all that is "a direct violation of safety rules showing that the Energy and Coal Industry minister is unable to control the situation." "The explanation that the electricity had been turned off because of debts does not hold any water, because this debt had emerged much earlier, yet the power was not turned off during the bitter frosts. That was done now when it became warmer," he added.

This is not the first incident when organizations in Ukraine supplying electricity cut off electricity to coalmines with miners stranded underground.

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