More than 70 coal miners were left trapped underground after a powerful blast that caused a partial collapse of the coal mine they were working in.
The tragic incident took place at the Listvyazhnaya coal mine in Kemerovo Oblast, Russia, where an explosion that occurred 820 feet under the surface caused parts of the mine to collapse, leaving dozens of workers trapped.
According to the local reports, a fire ripped through the air shafts following the blast, whereas the tunnels were filled with smoke.
During the incident, at least one worker was killed and another 43 were injured after inhaling too much smoke.
Sadly, many of the workers still remain trapped underground as rescue missions are underway.
While regional governor Sergei Tsivilev initially suggested that some 49 miners are still missing, other reports, like those of Mash and Interfax news agencies, suggest the number could in fact be as high as 75.
As Russia’s Interfax reported soon after the blast, an “equipment malfunction” is believed to be blamed for the explosion. “Natural causes” are reportedly also a possible factor.
Furthermore, it has been reported that fire burst through the ventilation shafts as the blast “thundered” in the deep mine.
As of this writing, the rescue mission remains ongoing and the Russian Investigative Committee has begun investigating the incident.
“According to preliminary data, none have bodily injuries. They inhaled (smoke) as a result of the explosion,” one of the emergency responders said at the scene moments before the first fatality was confirmed.
Our thoughts remain with the victims of the explosion and their families.
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