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Siberia: Dozens missing after deadly Russian mine accident Siberia: Dozens missing after deadly Russian mine accident
(about 1 hour later)
Dozens of people are missing after a fire filled a mine with smoke in Siberia, leaving at least 11 dead. Three rescuers sent to find survivors after a Siberian mine filled with smoke have died, bringing the disaster's death toll to 14.
Disaster struck on Thursday morning when coal dust in a ventilation shaft caught light, according to the Russian state news agency Tass. The accident happened when coal dust in a ventilation shaft caught alight, according to the Russian state news agency Tass.
About 285 people were in the mine at the time, with the majority escaping.About 285 people were in the mine at the time, with the majority escaping.
But at least 35 were still underground when it was decided to pause the search for survivors, due to the risk of an explosion. Rescue teams went in to find the 35 still trapped. The rescuers' bodies were found hours later on Thursday.
Local governor Sergei Tsivilev said in a video on Telegram that dangerously high levels of methane had been detected in the Listvyazhnaya mine, in the Kemerovo region, some 3,500km (2,175 miles) east of Moscow. Russia's Emergencies Ministry said one of the rescue teams at the Listvyazhnaya mine, in the Kemerovo region some 3,500km (2,175 miles) east of Moscow, had lost contact with those on the surface.
"Work will resume as soon as the gas concentration decreases to a safe level," he said, according to AFP news agency. Officials confirmed to Tass that three bodies had been found, and Russia's privately-owned Interfax news agency quoted a source saying their oxygen had run out. It is unclear if any more rescuers are missing.
Eleven miners are known to have died, and 49 people have been taken to hospital with injuries, officials said. Some of the injured have smoke poisoning, and four are said to be in a critical condition.
The search for more survivors was paused earlier on Thursday amid fears that dangerously high levels of methane in the mine could cause an explosion.
Local governor Sergei Tsivilev said in a video on Telegram that work would resume "as soon as the gas concentration decreases to a safe level".
Mr Tsivilev earlier said they had lost contact with the missing miners as the underground communications system was not working.Mr Tsivilev earlier said they had lost contact with the missing miners as the underground communications system was not working.
A total of 49 people were taken to hospital with injuries, officials said, some of them with smoke poisoning. Four were said to be in a critical condition. Eleven people are known to have died.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hoped "(they) will be able to save as many people as possible", describing the loss of life as "a great tragedy".Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hoped "(they) will be able to save as many people as possible", describing the loss of life as "a great tragedy".
This is not the first accident at the mine, according to local media, with a methane gas explosion killing 13 in 2004. More widely, accidents in Russian mines are not uncommon.This is not the first accident at the mine, according to local media, with a methane gas explosion killing 13 in 2004. More widely, accidents in Russian mines are not uncommon.
In 2016, authorities assessed the safety of the country's 58 coal mines and declared 34% of them potentially unsafe. The list did not include the Listvyazhnaya mine at the time. In 2016, authorities assessed the safety of the country's 58 coal mines and declared 34% of them potentially unsafe. The list did not include the Listvyazhnaya mine at the time, Russian reports say.