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Ukraine Mourns 89 People Killed in Coal Mine Disaster


Ukraine is observing a national day of mourning for 89 people killed in the worst mining catastrophe in the country's post-Soviet history.

Flags decorated with black ribbons flew at half-staff Tuesday, as families of the coal miners gathered to bury the dead in and near the eastern industrial city of Donetsk.

Rescue workers have pulled more than 350 people to safety following the coal mine explosion Sunday. Authorities say at least 11 miners are still missing from the Zasyadko mine.

The methane gas explosion occurred 1,000 meters underground. A subsequent fire hampered rescue efforts.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko visited the area Monday and called on the mining ministry to develop new safety plans for 2008. Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych visited the mine in his native Russian-speaking region on Sunday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent his condolences to the victims' families.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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