Efforts to rescue the miners trapped in an air pocket under the fire of the Listvyazhnaya mine in Belovo, southwest Siberia, at a depth of 250 meters have ceased
Image: KP / The Siberian Times)
A mine explosion killed at least 46 miners and buried another 35 in Russia.
Six rescuers sent into the smoky tunnels to find out that survivors died hours later.
One miner said those at the center of the huge explosion were “wiped off the earth”.
Last night hopes to rescue the 35 men trapped 820 feet deep faded as rescue teams were held back over explosive methane and toxic carbon monoxide.
President Vladimir Putin said: “The situation is not getting any easier. The rescuers are in danger of death.
“We hope that you can save as many as possible.”
Early reports indicate that the men were trapped under the fire at the Listvyazhnaya mine in Belovo in southwest Siberia.
GOVERNMENT PRESS SERVICE OF KUZBASS / HA / EPA-EFE / REX / Shutterstock)
Before the recovery was stopped, Regional Governor Sergei Tsivilev said there was still electricity and ventilation in the mine, but that they had lost touch with people deep underground.
He added, “There is no heavy smoke at the moment, so let’s hope there is no fire. The underground communication system does not work. “
About 285 people were in the mine 2,000 miles east of Moscow during the explosion.
Nikolay Alimov, unemployed with an injury, said: “Many have been poisoned by carbon monoxide.”
Some miners managed to pull others out “before they suffocated”.
Another driver said, “I had just started my shift and there was a loud clap.
Maxim Kiselev / TASS)
“There was dust … I started to choke.”
Locals prayed for a miracle last night, but the situation remained confused. There were also allegations of a second explosion 12 hours after the first.
In 2007, over 100 died in a mine explosion in the region. In 2010 another 90 died.