Coal mine blast kills seven in Ukraine

DONETSK, Ukraine Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:53am EST

DONETSK, Ukraine Feb 18 (Reuters) - Seven miners were killed and nine others injured when a methane blast ripped through a coal mine in eastern Ukraine, emergency officials said on Tuesday.

The blast occurred on Monday night at the Severnaya mine in Makeyevka, about 15 km (9 miles) from the city of Donetsk, the emergencies ministry said.

Like those in other former Soviet republics, Ukraine's mining sector has been plagued by accidents often blamed on poor infrastructure and a failure to follow safety regulations. (Writing by Steve Gutterman, editing by Elizabeth Piper)