A spark was said to have caused a methane gas explosion at the Listvjazhnaya coal mine in Kemerovo, Siberia, yesterday morning, according to local authorities.
A subsequent fire in the ventilation system must have filled the mine tunnels 250 meters underground with smoke.
There were approximately 300 miners at the mine when the accident occurred. Most of them managed to get out, but 46 remained down in the tunnels of the mines. Mine management lost contact with these.
They only had the oxygen needed to administer it for eight hours.
Rescue operation has been cancelled
Yesterday, 11 miners were found dead.
And soon a rescue operation was launched. But the conditions were clearly very difficult, because during the day six rescue workers died in the smoke-soaked tunnels of the mines.
And Russian media reported, last night, that the rescue work had stopped. The reason was that the methane concentration was too high. There was an imminent danger of new eruptions.
Now news agency reports slow It is unlikely that the rescue process will begin again until after three days. It is unclear where the supposed miners are.
After 36 miners died in a similar accident in 2016, authorities investigated the conditions at all 58 coal mines in the country.
20 of them have been classified as potentially dangerous. But the Listvjazhnaya mine was not among them.
Accidents happen relatively often in Russian mines. Safety and working conditions are often poor, and the equipment used is old and partially worn out.
The Russian police arrested the mine accident manager and two others in the administration.
They are accused of violating safety regulations for mining.
President Vladimir Putin offered his condolences to the injured.
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