Rescuers suspend search after deadly Russian mine fire, with dozens still trapped underground

Emergency workers in Russia’s Siberia province have halted their rescue of dozens of miners still trapped underground after a mine fire that killed 11 people.

Coal dust caught fire in the vent of the Listvaiznaya mine in the snow-covered Kemerovo region, filling the underground workplace with smoke, the TASS news agency quoted local emergency services as saying.

So far, 11 people have been found dead, the region’s governor, Sergei Tsevilev, said, and 35 miners are still underground.

Russia’s emergency services said Thursday they have suspended the rescue of more than 40 people stuck in a mine hit by an accident in Siberia due to the risk of an explosion, the RIA news agency reported.

Dozens of others are undergoing treatment in hospital, at least some of them have smoke poisoning, while four of them are in critical condition.

Rescue workers and ambulances were seen arriving at the mine complex in video footage, as police gathered outside as it snowed in the area, which is about 3,500 kilometers east of Moscow.

The Emergencies Ministry said about 285 people were inside the mine when smoke spread through the vent.

Authorities said at least 239 people managed to fly above the ground.

The authorities did not say what caused the smoke.

Tsivelev said that there was no longer a thick smoke in the mine, which still has electricity and ventilation, but that contact with some people in the depths of the earth was cut off.

“At the moment, there is no thick smoke, so we hope that there will be no fire,” Tsevilev said in video comments shared online.

“We do not have lines of communication with these people and the underground communications system is not working,” he added.

The regional branch of the Russian Investigative Committee said it had opened a criminal case for negligence that caused the deaths.

According to preliminary data, a number of workers were infected with smoke poisoning, and the number of victims is currently [verified]She said in an earlier statement.

The mine is part of SDS-Holding, which is owned by the privately owned Siberian Business Consortium.

This work was not immediately commented.



Leave a Comment