21 trapped Ukrainian miners found alive

June 9, 2008 at 6:16 PM

DONETSK, Ukraine, June 9 (UPI) -- Thirteen miners remained trapped in an underground Ukrainian coal mine Monday following the rescue of 23 others, a spokeswoman for a mine safety group said.

"Twenty-one men have been located alive," the spokeswoman told RIA Novosti of the latest to be found.

Two others were freed earlier in the day but the fate of the trapped miners was not known, Voice of America reported.

At least one miner was killed in the methane explosion Sunday morning that caused the coal mine to collapse, trapping the dozens of workers deep underground, ITAR-TASS reported.

The survivors were taken to a hospital to be checked out as coal industry officials maintained there was "still hope" to find the other miners alive at the Karl Marx Mine in the Donetsk region town of Yenakievo.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government established a commission to investigate the disaster, the Ukrainian Unian News Agency reported, saying Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko ordered the probe, which is to be headed by First Vice Prime Minister Oleksandr Turchynov.

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