A total of 11 miners have been reportedly killed following an accident at the Listvyazhnaya coal mine in the Kemerovo region in Siberia, Russia.
Telegram reported the news citing regional governor Sergei Tsivilev.
Tsivilev said: “Another body has just been found. The death toll has risen to 11.”
On 25 November, a fire and an explosion occurred in the mine’s airway at a depth of 250m, reported TASS news agency citing an emergency source.
The explosion was triggered by coal dust, which caught fire in the airway and subsequently spread smoke across the mine, stated the news agency.
At the time of the accident, a total of 285 people were working at the mine, according to preliminary data.
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Of these, 236 miners were rescued from the mine, which has now been suspended.
The Ministry of Emergency Situations has been notified of the accident at the mine, where several other miners still remain stuck.
According to the regional government, 43 of the total rescuees have been hospitalised with four in serious condition.
At the mine site, 11 branches of the paramilitary mine rescue unit (MRSU) of Russia’s EMERCOM are working to rescue the miners.
However, Tsivilev was cited by Reuters as saying that the operation was suspended due to the risk of explosion from the high levels of methane and CO₂.
Tsivilev added: “The chance of an explosion is very high. We’ve decided to suspend the search and rescue operation until the concentration of gas reduces.”
The governor said that the mine still has electricity and ventilation. However, the officials lost contact with those trapped.
Tsivilev was quoted on his Telegram channel as saying: “For now, there is no heavy smoke, so we hope that there is no fire.
“We have no communication lines with these people, the underground communications system is not working.”
This August, an explosion at the La Carbonera de Tópaga underground coal mine in Colombia’s central Boyaca department killed 12 miners.