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23 Miners in Ukraine Rescued, Others Remain Trapped

Rescue workers in Ukraine have pulled 23 coal miners from a one-thousand meter deep shaft. At least 13 others remain trapped in the mine, which was the scene of a powerful explosion on Sunday. As Stefan Bos reports from Budapest, at least one mine worker was killed in the blast.

Rescue workers are trying to save workers still trapped at Ukraine's Karl Marx coal mine in Yenakiyevo, northeast of the regional capital Donetsk.

The remaining miners have been trapped since early Sunday about one-thousand-meters underground, after what is believed to have been a methane-gas explosion rocked the state-run mine during repair work.

Several workers have been brought out alive.

Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Turchynov says rescue workers remain hopeful to find more survivors. The miners brought out today were found after rescue workers heard voices coming from the damaged shaft.

Russia Today television talked to distraught family members anxiously awaiting news of rescue efforts.

"I am waiting for my son. I have waited for so many hours. I have no more strength to wait," said one woman. "They keep telling us to wait one more hour. One more hour. How many more hours can we wait. Nobody does anything and my son is waiting there somewhere below. And maybe he is dead."

A miner also expressed his frustration about working conditions at the mine, where operations had been suspended so workers could improve safety standards.

"I feel no one needs me," said one miner. "Just like nobody needs the people who died here."

Eleven miners were killed in a mine explosion in the same area two weeks ago. Three blasts at the Zasyadko mine in Donetsk late last year killed 106 men in two weeks.

More than 4,800 mine workers have died since the collapse of the Soviet Union, making Ukraine's mine industry one of the most dangerous in the world.

The government has begun closing mines amid mounting concerns about the number of fatalities.