According to new data, there were 48 miners in the Krasnolimanskaya mine (Rodinskoye, Krasnoarmeisk district, Donetsk region, Ukraine) when an explosion occurred on Monday. Twelve of the miners reached the surface independently.
Earlier, it was reported that 46 men were in the mine and that nine had managed to escape.
The press service of the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry reported that the explosion and the subsequent fire took place much deeper than was earlier reported - 997 meters instead of 545 meters.
As of 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, the bodies of 25 miners had been found. Eleven miners are still missing.
The fire has complicated rescue work. "At the present time rescuers have concentrated their efforts mainly on bringing the bodies of the dead miners to the surface and extinguishing the fire," the press service reported.
Fifty-four Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Ministry rescues and 20 ambulances are involved in the emergency operation.
The cause of the explosion in the mine has not been established yet.
The press service reported that it could take several days to several weeks to extinguish the fire.
A special government commission, headed by Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Kolyuyev, is operating at the location of the disaster to determine the causes of the explosion and solve issues related to the consequences of the explosion and putting out the fire.
The explosion is not the first disaster at the Krasnolimanskaya mine in the past few years. On December 2, 2002, a gas dynamic explosion at the depth of 880 meters caused a cave-in. Two miners were trapped and only one was rescued.
On January 2, 2003, a cave-in during site work killed one miner. A day later, rescue workers took his body to the surface.
In March 2003, during the work at a depth of 540 meters, seven miners were buried under rubbles and four were rescued.
According to the Ukrainian State LaborProtection Supervisory Committee, about 5,000 miners were injured (76 died) in the accidents in Ukrainian mines in the first six months of 2004.