A day after a gas explosion ripped through a coal mine in Ukraine, rescuers are still looking for survivors. They located 24 men who had been trapped in one part of the pit and are searching for a further 12.
Officials have confirmed one person has been killed. Others have been wounded, suffering burns and broken limbs, but it is thought their injuries are not life-threatening.
Veteran miners described the blast at the Karl Marx pit in the Donetsk region as the most powerful they had ever experienced. It blocked the two main shafts meaning rescuers had to use the ventilation shaft to get to the trapped workers.
Angry relatives gathered at the mine and the hospital where the men were taken. One woman shouted that her husband had warned managers an explosion was imminent. The pit had been closed for safety checks and repairs. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko joined the criticism, saying the tragedy exposed the government’s failed policies for the industry.
Deadly explosions at mines are a regular occurrence in Ukraine. Last year three explosions in two weeks took the lives of 106 people.