At least 8 killed in Ukraine coal mine blast; 20 missing

The Ukrainian emergencies service says an explosion at a coal mine in western Ukraine has left at least eight people dead



MOSCOW (AP) — The Ukrainian emergencies service says an explosion at a coal mine in western Ukraine has left at least eight people dead.

The blast took place about midday Thursday in the Stepovaya mine in the Lviv region, 460 kilometers (285 miles) west of the capital Kiev, about 550 meters (1,800 feet) underground, news reports cited the service as saying.

The emergencies service reported eight dead, but the head of a miners’ union, Oleksandr Volynets, said on social media that the death toll was 11. He said the cause of the blast was a methane explosion, but further details were not immediately available.

Ukrainian media said 172 people had been in the mine at the time of the blast and 20 of them have not been located.

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