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Two killed at Donetsk coal mine (updated)

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July 29, 2011, 11:32 a.m. | Ukraine — by Kyiv Post

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Head of Donetsk Regional State Administration Andriy Shyshatsky has confirmed that two people were killed when a winch tower collapsed at Bazhanov coal mine in Makiyivka, Donetsk region, on Friday. "At the moment we can say there are two dead – a woman and a man. A man is under a slab, which has to be raised," Shyshatsky told reporters on Friday.

He noted that at the time of the crash, there were 14 or 15 people at the site, two of them were killed, three injured, and eight or nine people are under rubble. The governor said that tapping sounds are coming from under the debris of the collapse.

"They are tapping," Shyshatsky said. Search and rescue teams are working at the site. The mine's operation has been temporarily suspended, and the cause of the accident is being investigated.

Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman Yulia Yershova said that an elevator at the Bazhana mine in the eastern Donetsk region collapsed on Friday morning, killing two workers.

A total of 538 miners were working in the mine at the time of the accident.

They are returning to the surface along reserve routes by themselves.

The 65-meter winch tower collapsed at 09.40 on Friday.

The mine's operation has been temporarily suspended, and the cause of the accident is being investigated.

Earlier in the day, a powerful explosion rocked a different mine, also in eastern Ukraine, killing 17 workers and injuring three.

Rescuers are looking for eight who are still missing.

According to preliminary data of the branch of the State Committee for Industrial Safety, Labor Protection and Mining Supervision in Luhansk region, an explosion of methane-air mixture is a likely cause of the accident at mine.

President Viktor Yanukovych was also expected to fly to the site later in the day, according to his office.

The administration of the OJSC Krasnodonvuhillia association will pay Hr 1 million to the families of the killed miners.

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