Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has declared March 5 as a national day of mourning for the people killed in a methane gas explosion at the Zasyadko coal mine in Donetsk.
The latest figures put the death toll from the gas blast at 33.
The head of Ukraine’s mine unions, Mykhailo Volynets, has confirmed this information. “As of this morning, there are 33 victims – the dead bodies of 32 of them have already been found and a search is under way for the last one,” Volynets wrote on Facebook on Thursday morning.
The Zasyadko mine is one of Ukraine’s major coal producers. There were 230 people in the shaft at the time of the blast, which occurred at 5:20 a.m. on Wednesday. The area is controlled but the so called Donetsk people republic. The Ukrainian government asked to let 60 rescuers into the mine, but its representatives flatly refused to allow rescue teams into the scene.
In November 2007, the Zasyadko mine was where the biggest disaster in the history of Donbass happened – it killed 101 miners.