DIMITROVO, Ukraine (AP) – Hundreds of relatives, friends and colleagues paid their last respects Thursday to 15 Ukrainian miners who died in an underground methane gas explosion that killed at least 31.

Several women fainted from grief as coffins were lowered into graves at a cemetery in the tiny town of Dimitrovo near the Krasnolimanskaya mine, the site of Monday’s powerful blast. Flags adorned with black ribbons were at half-staff, and a brass band played a funeral march.

In a eulogy, Serhiy Kobzarenko, a miner and a relative of two men killed in the blast, said miners “do dangerous work.” He added, ominously, that “we should be ready to share the same fate.”


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