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Ukraine gas blast 'kills 33'

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World Coal,

A suspected gas blast at a coal mine in a rebel-held region of eastern Ukraine has killed 33 people and trapped around 30 more, according to a rebel official.

At least 14 miners were also injured at the Zasyadko mine, which saw Ukraine's worst mine disaster nearly eight years ago when 101 were killed.

Anxious relatives of miners have gathered at the scene to await news.

There are fears the rebels lack the resources to deal with the disaster, the BBC's Tom Burridge reports.

Donetsk saw heavy fighting between separatist rebels and government troops over the winter but a mine union official, Mikhail Volynets, told a Ukrainian TV channel there had been no fighting in the area in recent days.

While Ukraine's economy has significantly shrunk since the conflict began in April, many coal mines continue to operate in the conflict zone.

Before the conflict, accidents were common in the mines, where safety standards are poor.

Edited from source by Joe Green

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