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Explosion kills 25 at Ukrainian mine
Updated: 2004-07-20 13:51

At least 25 miners were killed in an explosion at a Ukrainian mine, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported Tuesday.

The blast hit a section of the mine in the eastern Donetsk region about 1,800 feet below the surface Monday night, ITAR-Tass said, citing Ukrainian mine authorities.

Emergency workers searching for dead and injured miners are being hampered by high concentrations of gases and temperatures of up to 104, the report said.

Officials said 46 miners were changing shifts in a section of the mine when the explosion happened. Ten managed to escape, ITAR-Tass said. Workers have recovered 25 bodies so far.

Ukraine's mines are considered among the world's most deadly due to high concentrations of methane gas, frequent violations of safety rules and outdated equipment.

Some 267 miners died in Ukraine's mines last year, according to the State Labor Protection Committee. More than 3,700 have been killed since 1991.

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