At the moment of explosion 172 miners were down in the mine, including 34 within the explosion area (550 meters underground). 21 miner had been taken to the Hospital with injuries and burns of varying severity, including six persons in critical condition. As the Independent Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine (NPGU) informed , among eight killed workers there were five miners, who were the members NPGU.
The Head of the regional organization of NPGU in Chervonograd Vitaly Onizhuk said that, according to preliminary information, the explosion in mine ‘Stepova’ was caused by the flash of an air-methane mixture.
The Head of the NPGU Mykhailo Volynetc is in the Chervonograd, where the head office of SE ‘Lvivvugillia’ is located.
‘It’s a big tragedy for us. The youngest of the victims was 19 years old, the oldest was 42 years old. There has never been such tragic accidents in Lviv coal region. We sympathize with all the families who lost their nearest and dearest. NPGU follows the process of investigating the incident at the mine ‘Stepova’.
Last year NPGU warned about the critical situation in the coal industry. State coal mines had not received full funding from state budget. There was lack of money for providing safety, buying new equipment and modernization of mines. All this factors creates the danger of accidents at state mines. NPGU pay attention that some state mines have 50% providing of personal protective equipment for miners’ –said Mykhailo Volynetc.
Lviv region prosecutor’s office opened criminal proceedings ‘Violation of safety rules related to high risk’ in case of explosion in mine ‘Stepova’.
Prime Minister of Ukraine Vlolodymyr Groisman said that each family of killed miners would receive 600-700 thousand UAH of compensation.