Death toll from Severstal’s coal mine accident in Russia reaches 36

28 February 2016 (Last Updated February 28th, 2016 18:30)

A total of 36 people are believed to have died due to three explosions of methane gas at the Severnaya coal mine in Vorkuta, Russia.

A total of 36 people are believed to have died due to three explosions of methane gas at the Severnaya coal mine in Vorkuta, Russia.

Vorkutaugol, an integral part of Russian steel and mining company Severstal, owns the Severnaya mine.

First two blasts occurred at a depth of 780m and ripped through the mine in the Komi region on Thursday, causing a rock collapse and fire.

Four miners were killed and another 26 were trapped deep underground.

" … I would like to express my deepest condolences to those affected by this tragic incident, particularly the friends and families of our valued colleagues who lost their lives."

The third explosion occurred when five rescuers and one miner were digging through the rubble to install insulated blocks with a gas, killing all of them.

The gas was being sent to put down the fire that was still raging in the mine.

Initially, at the time of the blast, about 110 miners were working underground and the company evacuated 80 people to the mine's surface safely.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Severnaya coal technical director Denis Paikin as saying: "The technical council has studied the situation in detail, including the level of gas at the mine, the dynamics of the raging fire, and the destruction which followed three explosions that happened at the mine.

"Having evaluated the current situation the council has decided there are no people left alive at the mine."

Severstal CEO Vadim Larin said: "On behalf of everyone at Severstal, I would like to express my deepest condolences to those affected by this tragic incident, particularly the friends and families of our valued colleagues who lost their lives."