KIEV – An underground methane gas explosion has ripped through a coal mine in western Ukraine where 34 miners were working on Thursday, with a government ministry and a miners’ union offering differing death tolls.
At least 11 miners were killed in the incident according to a miners’ union, while the State Emergency Service of Ukraine said eight deaths had so far been confirmed.
“A methane explosion at a mine in Stepnaya killed at least 11 people,” the head of a miners’ union, Mihaylo Volinets, had said in a post on Facebook.
There had been 34 people in the mine at the time of the explosion, he said.
The State Emergency Service of Ukraine said at least eight miners had died and another six were injured.
But the service did not discount the possibility that the death toll could go up as about 20 workers were reportedly in the area where the explosion occurred and had not been heard from since.
The incident took place in the eastern region of Lviv at a mine that had been in operation since 1978.