July 30 - Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovich orders an investigation into a mine blast that killed 17 amid conflicting reports of its cause. Lindsey Parietti reports.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich visits the hospital where two miners are being treated after a deadly blast. The president ordered an investigation into the explosion, which killed 17 and left nine missing Friday. Rescuers were still trying to reach those trapped in this mine in the coal-producing Luhansk region Saturday. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VIKTOR YANUKOVICH, SAYING: "Rescuers today have not yet reached those parts of the shaft where there is no ventilation. The emergency response plan is not yet completed. It's in progress now. Nine people are still under the surface. We don't know yet what condition they are in." Yanukovich said an electrical equipment failure or earlier drilling and blasting could have caused the explosion. But a mining official blamed the blast on a concentration of methane gas, according to regional news agency Interfax. The mine is owned by Krasnodon Coal, which is run by one of the sponsor's of Yanukovich's 2010 presidential campaign. A methane explosion killed 58 people at the same mine in 1992. And in 2007, a similar accident at another mine killed more than 100. Such incidents have prompted concern over the industry's lax safety standards and regulation. Lindsey Parietti, Reuters