At least 11 miners were killed in a coal mine fire in Russia. There are at least 46 miners trapped in the mine. Nearly 240 people were saved in a rescue operation.
Rescuers said 285 miners were working when a fire broke out at the Listvyazhnaya coal mine in the Kemerovo region of central Russia. Previous reports said 115 people were working in the mine.
Rescue work stopped
The rescue operation was called off at the end of the morning due to the risk of an explosion. Earlier today, large amounts of smoke made it difficult for rescuers to reach the miners.
43 people were injured and all were taken to hospital. There are also four people in critical condition among the injured. Several miners were also said to have inhaled the smoke.
A source in the emergency service, reported that the fire started in an air vent, the Russian news agency TASS reported. This allowed the smoke to spread through the mine. There were no explosions. There will be no harm.
President Putin expressed his condolences to the families of the dead. In addition, he ordered the government to provide all necessary aid to the wounded, says one of his spokespersons.
The mine was inspected on November 19, Interfax news agency, which is based on the Russian environmental watchdog Rostechnadzor, reported. The news agency is not aware of the results of that inspection.