Four dead, four missing in Russian coal mine blast

Four miners have been killed and four others declared missing after a methane blast in the Kuzbass coal basin of Russia’s Kemerovo region.

According to the regional branch of the Ministry for Emergency Situations (EMERCOM), some 77 miners were working in Prokopyevsk, when the smoke started to billow out of the mine.

Rescue operations are still going on at the site and 69 miners have been evacuated to the surface.

“As the emergency part is flooded, thus pushing out methane, the works will continue in the mine itself,” deputy head of EMERCOM’s Information Department Elena Smirnykh told reporters on Sunday.

A regional emergency center has been set up at the mine, owned by the Siberian Coal Energy Company, and specialists are extracting gas to prevent other explosions caused by high methane concentration.

This is the latest of similar incidents in Russia; many of which have happened due to high methane concentration.

In November 2012, an underground methane gas explosion injured seven workers at a coal mine in the southwestern sector of Russia’s Siberia region.

A total of 91 people died in May 2010, when two powerful methane blasts occurred at the Raspadskaya mine near the west Siberian town of Mezhdurechensk. Only 80 bodies were recovered from the mine.


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