Moscow, Nov 18 (UNI) At least 33 miners were killed in a methane gas blast in Zasyadko mine in eastern Donetsk region, in the former Soviet republic of Ukraine.
Russian agencies reported about 70 miners were still trapped in the mine at the depth of 1,000 metre and the death toll was expected to rise.
More than 450 miners were below ground when the explosion happened at 0300 (0630 hrs IST ) today, emergency officials said.
About 350 miners have been rescued and at least 20 were rushed to the hospital, reports said, adding Ukraine's Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych was heading to the site of mine explosion.
The Donetsk region is about 400 miles southeast of the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, as miners' family members gathered at the site trying to find news of their men.
Ukraine's coal mines are among the most dangerous in the world with a high number of casualties from accidents.
A gas leak at the Zasyadko coal mine, one of Ukraine's largest, killed 13 miners and injured dozens more in September 2006.