Russia coal mine explosion death toll increases to 18
ReutersMOSCOW--The death toll in an underground methane gas explosion at a coal pit in northern Russia on Monday has risen to 18.
February 13, 2013, 1:28 am TWN
Rescue workers said they had brought 10 bodies to the surface at the Vorkutinskaya mine, owned by large Russian steel company Severstal, in the icy Komi region and were trying to recover eight other corpses.
This is the latest in a long line of fatal accidents at Russian collieries.
About 250 people had been at the pit at the time of the blast, about 800 meters (2,620 feet) below the surface but most had escaped or been rescued, government officials said.
The explosion is likely to renew concerns about safety at Russia's ageing pits, where accidents are common, often because of such explosions, negligence or a failure to follow safety regulations.
“We need a clear and understandable picture of what happened,” Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov told local officials and rescue workers via a video link-up soon after the explosion.