More than 10,000 residents of an industrial city in the Ural Mountains staged a street demonstration to protest smog that has burned skin and caused lung and heart problems, a newspaper reported.

Komsomolskaya Pravda, the daily of the youth organization Komsomol, said the protesters in the city of Nizhny Tagil demanded that two 45-year-old coke-burning furnaces at a steel plant be closed.

"Who will answer for the 54 stillborn children in 1987?" a crying woman said at the demonstration.

Komsomolskaya Pravda did not say when the protest occurred in the city of 405,000 people 900 miles east of Moscow, but it appeared to have been in February or March.

There have been several reports of environmental protests in the Soviet Union since Communist Party General Secretary Mikhail S. Gorbachev came to power three years ago.