A second explosion in a coal mine in northern Russia killed six rescue workers on Sunday during an effort to free 26 miners trapped when the same mine collapsed earlier this week.
Citing Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov, Russia's Interfax news agency reported that the rescue effort in the Severnaya mine in the northern Russian town of Vorkuta has now been abandoned and that the 26 miners are most likely dead.
"We are forced to acknowledge that all the conditions at that section of the mine would not allow a person to survive," Puchkov said in comments carried by Interfax.
On Thursday, four miners were killed and 26 others went missing when parts of the Severnaya mine collapsed after an explosion. Authorities say it is Russia's worst mining accident in several years.