Russia: Dozens dead in Siberia coal mine accident | News

Six rescuers have been found dead after a coal-mining accident in Russia’s Siberian province has killed at least 52 people.

At least 52 miners and rescue workers have died and many more are missing in a tragic accident at a coal mine in Siberia that was engulfed in smoke, Russian media outlets have said.

The miners were killed when coal dust caught fire, and smoke quickly filled the Listvyazhnaya mine through fresh air, the Russian newspaper Tass reported, citing an unnamed official.

Six rescuers were also killed, according to Tass, a news agency in Ria Novosti.

The mine, located near the town of Belovo in the state of Kemerovo, filled with smoke Thursday morning with 285 people inside.

Earlier, Kemerovo governor Sergei Tsivilev told Telegram that although many had been evacuated, at least 35 people had been detained.

In a telegram message, the governor said 49 were injured and needed medical attention.

Many people were receiving treatment at the hospital, some of them because of the smoke. Four were in critical condition [Alexander Patrin/AFP]

“The chances of an explosion are very high. Consider stopping the search operation and rescuing people until the air clears,” Tsivilev said.

President Vladimir Putin offered an apology to the couple about the miners who were killed, calling it a “great disaster”.

“I have spoken with the Kemerovo Regional Commissioner several times [Sergei Tsivilev] and leaders of rescue operations, “he said during a meeting with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic at a Black Sea visitor in Sochi.

“They are doing the best they can but, unfortunately, things are not going well, and now they are risking their lives. Important decisions are made immediately. We hope that more lives will be saved, ”he added.

The Kemerovo coal mine, located about 2,500 miles[3,500 km]east of Moscow, has been the scene of devastating mining accidents for years.

Listvyazhnaya mine is part of SDS-Holding, a secret Siberian Business Union. There was no immediate comment from the owner.

According to the newspaper Interfax, citing officials from Rostekhnadzor, a Russian scientist and ecologist, a recent survey of the Listvyazhnaya mine took place on November 19. The report did not provide details of the inspection results.

In 2016, 36 miners were killed in a series of methane attacks on the Severnaya coal mine in northern Russia. Following this, government officials inspected the security of 58 coal mines in the country and declared 20 of them to be unsafe.

In another incident in 2010, 91 people were killed and 100 injured at the Raspadskaya mine in Siberia.

The accident happened as a result of a methane explosion while more than 300 people were inside. A second blast then blocked the rescue squad.

In 2007, 110 people were killed in a gas explosion at the Ulyanovskaya mine in the same area.

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