As the death toll from the Zasyadko coal mine disaster reaches 33, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has declared Thursday (March 5) a day of national mourning. (“March 5 – the day of mourning for the victims at Zasyadko mine.”)
Sixteen people have been hospitalised as a result of the explosion – thought to have been caused by a build-up of methane gas.
Miners returned to work in other parts of the pit the day after the disaster.
Zasyadko mine lies in the rebel-held Donbass region, in Ukraine’s industrial heartland. However, recent fighting in the area, between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces, is not thought to have any link to the blast.
The mine has a history of fatal accidents. There were three accidents in 2007 alone, one of which killed 101 people.