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Miners in Ukraine threaten to suspend coal shipping

Staff Writer |
Miners of the state enterprise Lviv Coal in Ukraine’s western Lviv region warned that they would suspend coal shipping to the government if their working conditions are not improved.

In a letter to the cabinet, published by the head of the Ukrainian Independent Union of Miners Mykhailo Volynets, workers of the seven mines said that the coal supplies would be suspended on March 9 if their demands are not met.

Particularly, the miners asked the government to allocate at least 7.4 million U.S. dollars for the improvement of the safety of coal mines located in Lviv region.

Besides, the workers required the government to adopt the new salary formation system and repay all the unpaid wages to miners.

The move came after on March 2, the methane gas explosion ripped through Stepova mine, which belongs to Lviv Coal, killing 8 workers and injuring 21 others.

There were 172 miners working in the mine at the time of the explosion, Lviv region head Oleg Sinyutka told NewsOne TV.

The blast happened at a depth of 550 meters and triggered a cave-in over one of the conveyor belts, the local emergency service said.

The mine is part of Lvovugol, and has been in operation since 1978. It is rated as highly dangerous due to the high amounts of methane gas in the coal mined there.

Some experts suggested that the blast may have been triggered by the improper ventilation of the mine, which has high methane concentration. The official cause of the accident has not been unveiled yet.

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