Mine disaster kills 52, including heroes who rushed to rescue trapped miners.
The search for more survivors in the mine in Siberia was delayed due to fears that dangerously high methane concentrations in the mine could trigger another explosion
52 people – including three rescue workers – were killed in a tragic mine disaster after an explosion on the site.
Rescuers tried today to rescue missing miners trapped in Siberia after a mine disaster.
But dozens of men died after being trapped in the Listvyazhnaya mine in the Kemerovo region about 3,175 miles east of Moscow.
The accident occurred when coal dust ignited in a ventilation shaft, according to the Russian state news agency Tass.
Locals prayed for a “miracle” to bring the missing men out alive.
However, the searches by 32 separate teams had to be stopped because of the risk of new explosions in the Listvyazhnaya mine.
There were also reports of a second explosion in the coal mine this afternoon, about 12 hours after the first.
Authorities confirmed today that 11 miners had died while many more remained trapped in the mine and unable to reach the surface.
The only hope was that they found a bubble deep underground, say sources familiar with the tragedy.
Rescue teams were stopped because of “unstable” gas in the mine, approximately 2,200 miles east of the capital, Moscow.
“The probability of an explosion is very high. We have decided to suspend search and rescue operations until the gas concentration has decreased,” said Regional Governor Sergej Zivilev.
Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to be preparing Russians for more bad news that morning.
“Unfortunately the situation is not getting any easier. And the lives of the rescuers are in danger … We hope that they can save as many people as possible,” he said on television.
An unnamed miner said those at the epicenter of the “giant” explosion “were turned into minced meat.”
Some limbs had been torn off, he said.
They were “wiped off the ground,” he was quoted as saying.
A woman from one of the missing miners said, “We are praying for a miracle.”
Before the reported suspension, the Minister for Emergency Situations Alexander Chupriyan confirmed that the rescuers “have already found bodies”.
Putin had ordered him to fly to the scene of the tragedy.
About 285 had been underground when the explosion hit, and tonight the TACC news site announced that the death toll is currently 52.
Most were evacuated, but 49 suffered smoke-related injuries and were hospitalized. The injured were taken to hospitals by helicopter.
One report said miners warned of elevated methane levels in the mine but were still forced to work or lose their wages.
Putin’s Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin was also in a gloomy mood and gave little hope that the men would be saved.
“An emergency situation arose in the Kemerovo region today,” he said, emphasizing that rescue operations are underway.
“People died and were injured in a fire at the Listvyazhnaya mine.