June 13 - Rescue operation underway to save nine miners missing after an explosion at a pit in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region. Paul Chapman reports
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Nine miners were underground at this pit in the Ukraine region of Donetsk when methane gas triggered an explosion.
Rescue teams are trying to reach the trapped men.
Mine rescue officials say the site was operating illegally.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) DEPUTY HEAD OF CENTRAL HEADQUARTERS OF MINE RESCUE SERVICES, IGOR BELIKOV, SAYING:
"It is an illegal coal mine, according to our current findings. It has no contract of permanent and obligatory provision of rescue services between this mine and trained rescue stations as is compulsory. This enterprise has no official records."
The explosion happened on Thursday 300 metres below ground.
The blast has caused the shaft to collapse and damaged ventilation systems.
The mine is in a small town 90 kilometres north of the regional capital of Donetsk and less than half that distance from Slaviansk where pro-Russian separatists have taken up arms.
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