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Ukraine's president meets grieving families

Ukraine's president meets grieving families
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Only bodies are emerging from underground now. Rescuers are still searching for any survivors at the Zasiadko mine, but with over 70 dead Ukraine’s industrial heartland is heavy.

Search teams have had to call a break in their efforts because temperatures underground have risen too high; hardly improving the chances for the 30 men still missing.

Families briefly besieged the mine manager’s office on Monday as their grief spilled over into anger at a lack of information about what was happening.

When that information came, relatives crowded to hear a list of the dead or missing read out. Many, on hearing the news they had dreaded, could not stay to listen to any more.

The Zasiadko mine is one of Ukraine’s three biggest and has suffered several accidents in recent years. It is one of the most profitable and
miner’s wages at 680 euros a month are triple the national average.

President Viktor Yushchenko visited on Monday, meeting victim’s families, and chairing a session of the commission investigating the causes of what may soon be confirmed as the country’s worst-ever mining disaster.

However it is the present filling people’s thoughts right now, coming to terms with loss or the unknown, or preparing for burials. For many the future only holds bereavement and uncertainty.