Five hundred miners were trapped underground in a coal mine in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, after shelling hit a power station that supplies its electricity.

The men could not escape the Zasyadko coalmine – the country's largest and best-equipped mine – after a blast at an electric substation stopped supplies.

"At about 12:00 we registered a hit in one of our electric stations which delivers power to the Zasyadko coalmine - 496 miners were trapped there," Aleksey Kostrubitsky, head of the emergency services told Russia Today.

"As a result the elevator at the mine was left without power."

The men were later rescued after spending hours trapped underground without electricity.

It comes just over a fortnight since a similar incident trapped 300 miners.

The worst tragedy to hit the mine was in 2007 when 101 miners were killed in a methane explosion.

Zasyadko mine hit by Ukraine artillery
Relatives attend the funeral of a miner killed by a blast at Zasyadko coal mine in Donetsk, Ukraine Reuters/Gleb Garanich (UKRAINE)

The war between pro-Russian separatists and government forces has erupted again following failed peace talks. Seven Ukrainian soldiers have been killed over the past 24 hours.

Nearly 5,100 lives have been lost since the war began last April.