Moscow, Nov 26 (EFE).- A total of 46 miners and six rescuers have been killed as a result of an incident at the Listvyazhnaya coal mine in the Russian region of Kemerovo in western Siberia, local authorities confirmed Friday.
An explosion and fire are reported to have swept through the mine on Thursday, filling it with toxic fumes.
“The missing 35 miners were found dead. The total death toll was 52 people (46 miners and 6 rescuers),” a note published on the Telegram channel of Kemerovo Region Governor Sergei Tsivilev said.
Another 38 miners and 11 rescue workers were in hospital, it added.
“The probable cause of the accident is the explosion of the methane-air mixture. The exact reasons will be established by the commission.”
The authorities said three rescue units had arrived at the site of the accident.
“The dispatched units will seal the mine and let it fill with methane until its concentration reaches safe levels. These works are expected to take three days, after which the search for bodies will continue,” the governor said, according to Russian news agency Tass on Friday.
The workers will also drill a hole to extinguish possible fires in the mine, the note added.
At the time of the explosion, there were 285 workers in the coal mine, of whom at least 236 were rescued, according to the regional department of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry.
Sources from the mine’s administration said that the fire broke out at a depth of 250 meters as a result of an explosion.
The last serious accident at this mine, which was set up in 1956 under the name “Gramoteinskaya 1-2” and which has since been rebuilt and modernized, occurred in 2004 when an explosion killed 13 workers. EFE