Rescuers trying to reach miners trapped in a Ukrainian colliery after a gas explosion have found 21 workers alive. Emergency teams, moving through a ventilation shaft, are searching for a further 13 after reportedly hearing voices calling for help.
The blast, at the Karl Marx coal mine in the Donetsk region, killed at least three people and blocked the two main shafts. Two of those brought to the surface spoke of their experience.
“Everything was blown around. We were lucky. We stood on one side. If we’d been any closer, we wouldn’t have survived,” one said.
“Words aren’t enough. It was terrible. Noise, dust, everything was blown apart. We couldn’t see anything. Only when we got out did we calm down a bit,” said another.
Families have been waiting anxiously for news of their loved ones. Mine explosions are a regular occurence in Ukraine. Many colliaries are unprofitable and date from the 19th century.