A fire at a Siberian coal mine claimed at least 52 lives on November 25, the worst mining accident in Russia in a decade, state media Tass reported.
The tragedy happened at the Listvyazhnaya mine, in the Kemerovo region some 3,500km (2,175 miles) east of Moscow when coal dust caught fire in a ventilation shaft. At the time of the incident, some 285 miners were working underground.
Earlier, it was reported 11 miners were killed and 35 more remained trapped. A resume team sent down to the shaft lost contact and all six men were later confirmed suffocated.
"According to the preliminary data, there were no survivors in the coalmine. As many as 52 people were killed, including mine rescuers," Tass said, citing a source in the emergency services.
Officials said 49 had been taken to hospital with injuries. Some of the injured have smoke poisoning, and four are said to be in a critical condition.
The Listvyazhnaya mine is part of SDS-Holding, owned by the privately held Siberian Business Union. The owner had no immediate comment. The coal mine, holding mineable reserves of 86.9 million tonnes, is mainly engaged thermal coal with the production capacity at 6.15 million tonnes per annum.
The Kemerovo region accounts for more than half of coal produced in Russia. It has also been the site of some of the worst mining accidents.
In 2007, an explosion at the Ulyanovskaya mine killed more than 100 people. In 2010, more than 90 were killed in two explosions at the Raskadskaya mine. In 2004, 13 miners died at the same mine where the explosion occurred on November 25.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Tammy Yang)
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