52 dead in Siberian mine fire
Russian news agencies say a fire at a Siberian coal mine has killed 52 miners and rescuers.
Officials previously said rescuers recovered 14 bodies and the search for 38 missing people was halted for security reasons, due to a build-up of explosive methane and a high concentration of toxic fumes from the area. ‘fire.
State news agencies Tass and RIA-Novosti quoted emergency officials as saying there was no chance of finding survivors.
The Interfax news agency quoted a representative of the regional administration who also put the death toll at 52.
THIS IS A CURRENT UPDATE. An earlier version of the story follows below.
At least 14 people died Thursday in a fire at a coal mine in Siberia, which has also left 35 others missing and fearful of death.
Authorities said 11 miners were found dead and three rescuers also died later as they searched for other people trapped in a remote section of the mine. Regional authorities have declared three days of mourning for the victims.
Kemerovo Governor Sergei Tsivilyov said 35 minors were still missing and their exact location was unknown.
Efforts to rescue people trapped in the mine about 250 meters underground were halted Thursday afternoon due to a threat of explosion, and rescuers were rushed out of the mine.
The Interfax news agency reported that the miners have a normal six-hour oxygen supply that could be stretched for a few more hours, but is believed to have expired on Thursday evening.
Nearly 50 other minors were injured.
A total of 285 people were in the Listvyazhnaya mine in the Kemerovo region of southwest Siberia when the fire broke out and smoke quickly filled the mine through the ventilation system.
Criminal investigation launched
The Russian commission of inquiry has launched a criminal investigation into the fire for breaching safety regulations which resulted in deaths.
President Vladimir Putin offered his condolences to the families of the miners killed and ordered the government to provide all necessary assistance to those who were injured.
Speaking at a meeting with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, Putin noted that there was a danger to the lives of rescuers and expressed the hope that they will manage to save as many people as possible.
In 2016, 36 miners were killed in a series of methane explosions at a coal mine in Russia’s far north. In the aftermath of the incident, authorities analyzed the safety of the country’s 58 coal mines and said 20 of them, or 34%, were potentially dangerous.
The Listvyazhnaya mine was not one of them at the time, according to media reports.
Russia’s technology and environmental watchdog Rostekhnadzor inspected the mine in April and recorded 139 violations, including violations of fire safety regulations.
Another inspection of the mine was carried out on Friday, but its findings were not immediately released.