Of 21 miners who were at the epicenter of the deadly explosion that ripped through the shaft of the Zasyadko coal mine in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, only one apparently survived the blast.
The press service of Ukraine's Emergencies Ministry has announced that rescue workers Thursday afternoon discovered the body of the last miner who remained unaccounted for.
The tragedy at the Donetsk colliery occurred late on Wednesday as a result of an explosion of a mixture of methane gas and coal dust. 21 colliers were instantaneously trapped at the scene of the disaster in a shaft 1,058 meters deep below ground.
The one surviving miner is being treated in ER of a Donetsk clinic at the moment.
A government commission led by First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Dubina is working at the scene.
The Ukrainian Cabinet has appropriated 3 million hryvnas (1 US dollar is worth 5.32 hryvnas) for cleanup work and compensations for families of those killed and injured.
The explosion is a third major accident of this kind at the Zasyadko mine over the past three years. The first accident, in 1999, killed 50 miners. The second tragedy last year claimed 55 lives. The latest disaster's death toll has mounted to 19 by now.
More than 150 miners have died in accidents in Ukrainian mines this year alone.
A criminal case has been opened into the accident at the Zasyadko mine. Ukraine's Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Medvedko will preside over the investigating team.
The United States does not recognize the entry of Ukrainian territories into Russia. Such a development will seriously complicate prospects for a diplomatic settlement