: Blast in coal mine kills at least 9 in occupied Donbas

10:24 May. 8, 2016

Blast in coal mine kills at least 9 in occupied Donbas

Ukrainian coal miners wait for a bus after returning to the surface of the Zasyadko mine in Donetsk, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 4, 2015 (AP Photo))

Three districts of Ukraine's Luhansk region have been under separatists' control since April 2014

Nine bodies of miners have been recovered from inside the coal mine hit by an explosion on May 3 in the territory controlled by the militants in eastern Ukrainian Luhansk region, the Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE in Ukraine reported.

"The SMM followed up on reports on an explosion at a coal mine near "LPR"-controlled Maloivanivka (54km south-west of Luhansk) on 3 May," reads the report. (LPR stands for the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic)

Read also OSCE monitors report prohibited tanks in Luhansk

"In Maloivanivka, five miners (aged 20-40) told the SMM that nine bodies had been recovered from the incident site and that seven other miners were trapped some 200m underground," the monitors say.

It is also stressed that the representative of the militants, namely a local district "police chief" in nearby militant-controlled Komisarivka (61km south-west of Luhansk) confirmed to the SMM that an explosion had occurred at the coal mine near Maloivanivka.

Read also 'Militants blocked Ukrainian rescue workers from mine disaster'

When the monitors arrived at the scene, "the staff present refused to comment on the reported incident."

Reporting by UNIAN

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