Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has ordered an investigation into explosions that rocked a coal mine with the death toll increasing to 43 today, with 47 workers still trapped underground.

A methane explosion shook the Raspadskaya mine in Kemerovo late on 8 May, followed by a second blast the next morning which killed at least 18 rescue workers and 25 miners.

Putin ordered detailed investigations into the accident.

Evraz Group owns 40% of the Raspadskaya mine, which produced 17% of Russia’s coking coal output in 2009.

More than 100 workers died in another accident at Evraz’s Ulyanovsk mine in March 2007 after a methane detector failed to register fatal gas levels.

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