At least 63 miners died in an explosion inside a Siberian coal mine on Thursday, officials said today (Friday)
“According to preliminary information, no one is left alive in the mine,” TASS news agency quoted a source in the local emergency services as saying.
The explosion occurred inside Listvyazhnaya coal mine, near the town of Belovo 3,600km east of Moscow. There were 282 people inside at the time of the incident, Governor Sergei Tsivilev wrote on his Telegram.
Three days of mourning starting from today November 26 have been declared in the region.
“We heard a loud bang. Gas everywhere. Put on rescue devices. Those who could get out, but those that couldn’t and didn’t get out,” the RT news agency quoted an eyewitness.
At least 239 miners were rescued following the explosion, according to Interfax, a Russian news agency, which also added that the rescue operation had been suspended due to high fear of another explosion.
Six of those killed were rescuers that reportedly suffocated in a rescue attempt that went tragically wrong, Interfax added.
The team had gone into the mine to find trapped miners but soon stopped responding, according to Interfax quoting a local official, who said they had suffocated.
In a press briefing Kemerovo Region Governor Sergey Tsivilyov said that eleven rescuers, one with a cranial injury and 10 with poisoning, have been hospitalized.
According to Tsivilyov, they are out of danger.
However, RIA Novosti has reported that 38 miners have been hospitalized and the health condition of three is critical.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the deceased.
© Fourth Estate® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.