Guwahati News Desk: At least 11 people were killed and dozens are still missing after a mine caught fire in Siberia on Thursday.
According to officials, a total of 49 people were taken to hospital with injuries, some of them with smoke poisoning. However, 4 among them were said to be in a critical condition and 11 were eventually declared dead.
In addition, at least 35 were still underground when it was decided to pause the search for survivors, due to the risk of an explosion.
Sources further stated that about 285 people were in the mine at the time, with the majority escaping.
Regarding the fire tragedy, the disaster struck during the morning hours of Thursday, when coal dust in a ventilation shaft caught fire.
The Local Governor Sergei Tsivilev said in a video on Telegram, that they had lost contact with the missing miners as the underground communications system was not working.
In addition, Tsivilev added that dangerously high levels of methane had been detected in the Listvyazhnaya mine, in the Kemerovo region, some 3,500km (2,175 miles) east of Moscow. He said, “Work will resume as soon as the gas concentration decreases to a safe level.”
Meanwhile the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin said he hoped “(they) will be able to save as many people as possible”, describing the loss of life as “a great tragedy.”
Moreover, this is not the first accident at the mine. Earlier in 2016, while assessing the safety of the country’s 58 coal mines and 34% of them were declared to be potentially unsafe. However, the list did not include the Listvyazhnaya mine at the time.