Eleven people had previously died because after an explosion a fire broke out in the Listvyazhnaya mine, which filled with methane gas and smoke. At the time, nothing was known about the fate of the dozens of missing persons who were trapped in the shafts at an unknown location. More than two hundred comrades were able to be brought to safety. 38 of them were injured, four were said to be in bad shape.
At the time of the disaster, 285 people were at the coal mine in the Kemerovo region of western Siberia. The fire started on Thursday morning at a depth of 250 meters in a ventilation shaft, according to TASS. The smoke then spread through the mine. The ventilation system is said to have still worked after the explosion. The regional authorities have declared three days of mourning.
Accidents in mines regularly happen in Russia. In 2004, thirteen employees were killed in an explosion at the same coal mine. The worst mining accident dates back to 2007, when 110 people died in a gas explosion at the Ulyanovskaya coal mine, also in western Siberia.
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