52 dead in coal mine fire in Russia

Explosion in Siberian coal mine leaves 52 miners and rescuers dead. Another 239 people were rescued.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Siberia
Siberia
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An explosion in a Siberian coal mine on Thursday left 52 miners and rescuers dead about 250 meters (820 feet) underground, Russian officials said, according to The Associated Press.

Hours after a methane gas explosion and fire filled the mine with toxic fumes, rescuers found 14 bodies but then were forced to halt the search for 38 others because of a buildup of methane and carbon monoxide gas from the fire. Another 239 people were rescued.

Local media quoted emergency officials as saying that there was no chance of finding any more survivors in the Listvyazhnaya mine, in the Kemerovo region of southwestern Siberia.

The Interfax news agency cited a representative of the regional administration who also put the death toll from Thursday's accident at 52, saying they died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

It was the deadliest mine accident in Russia since 2010, when two methane explosions and a fire killed 91 people at the Raspadskaya mine in the same Kemerovo region.

Regional officials have declared three days of mourning for the victims.

Russia's Investigative Committee has launched a criminal probe into the fire over violations of safety regulations that led to the deaths. It said the mine director and two senior managers were detained.

President Vladimir Putin extended his condolences to the families of the dead and ordered the government to offer all necessary assistance to those injured.



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