Russia coal mine accident death toll rises to 52

The death toll from a coal mine accident in Russia’s Siberian region has risen to 52. Among the dead were six rescuers. This information was given in the report of BBC online quoting the Russian media.

The mine is located in the Kemerovo area. At around 8:30 a.m. local time on Thursday, a coal-powered fire broke out on a ventilated road in the Listaviazhnia mine. As a result, 11 people died instantly when smoke spread inside the mine.

At the time of the accident, 275 workers were stationed at the mine. Most of them were able to get out of the mine after the incident. However, many are stuck. Rescuers tried to rescue them till evening but failed. Several rescuers were also trapped during the operation. The operation was suspended after a large quantity of dangerous methane was identified in the mine.

The bodies of three rescuers were later found, official sources said. According to official figures, the death toll is 14.

Russia’s local media reported last night, citing various sources, that none of the people trapped in the mine were likely to survive. The death toll has exceeded 50. Among them are six rescuers.

The BBC reports that the incident was the deadliest disaster in Russia’s mines in a decade.

Three people, including the mine director, have been arrested in the incident. They were arrested for failing to provide security at the mine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the loss of life in the mine accident as “extremely tragic.”

The Kemerovo region is located about three and a half thousand kilometers east of the Russian capital, Moscow. According to local media, this is not the first accident at the mine. A methane gas explosion at the mine in 2004 killed 13 people. Accidents have been reported not only in these mines but also in other coal mines in Russia.

In 2016, Russian authorities reviewed the safety of 57 coal mines. Of these, 34 percent were listed as potential risk takers. However, the list did not include the name of the Listavijhnia mine.

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