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12 Jan, 2008 12:36

Search for missing Kazakh miners called off

Officials in Kazakhstan say there's little chance of finding the 23 missing workers after an explosion at a mine on Friday. Rescuers have temporarily called off their search for them because of the risk of another blast.

The concentration of methane at the mine is said to be at a critical level.

The explosion on friday left seven miners dead and more than ten injured. It started a fire that emergency workers have been unable to put out. Thick smoke and high temperatures are hampering their efforts.

A government commission is at the scene investigating the cause of the explosion.

In 2006 a blast ripped through another mine in the same area, killing more than forty people.

Ukraine fire

In Ukraine, more than 700 miners in Donbass have been evacuated after a fire broke out on mine premises. The blaze was put out soon afterwards.

It's reported the incident happened on the surface of the mine, not underground.

Rescuers say all of the miners have been safely brought to the surface.

An investigation's is under way into the cause of the fire.