Russian government: 36 dead in mine collapse and rescue effort

The Russian government on Sunday confirmed a death toll of 36 in a coal mine collapse and a subsequent rescue effort in the northern town of Vorkuta.

"This is a terrible tragedy for Russia and for our coal industry," Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said, after confirming that the 26 miners trapped in the mine were most likely dead.

The collapse on Thursday in the Severnaya mine killed four miners and trapped 26.

Six rescue workers were killed on Sunday in a second explosion, which resulted from an effort to free the trapped miners, taking the death toll to 36.

Citing Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov, Russia's Interfax news agency reported that the rescue effort had been abandoned.

"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.

Authorities say it is Russia's worst mining accident in several years.

Last update: Sun, 28/02/2016 - 14:03
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