One killed, two injured in Russian mine blast: reports

24th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

An explosion in a Russian coal mine Saturday killed a miner and injured two others, officials said, Interfax news agency reported.

"An explosion took place at 2:00 am (2200 GMT) at the Krasnogorskaya mine in the Kemerovo region," about 3,500 kilometres (2,200 miles) east of Moscow, a spokeswoman for the emergency situations ministry told Interfax.

Sixty-four people were working underground at the time of the blast, she said, adding that all survivors had been evacuated. The spokeswoman had earlier said there were 67 people in the pit when the explosion occurred.

A miner was killed "and his body was found by rescuers around 0215 GMT," she said, adding that two of the evacuated were hospitalised for burn injuries.

Initial reports said the accident appeared to be a methane gas explosion.

Deadly mine accidents are relatively common in Russia because of ageing infrastructure, violations of ventilation safety requirements and tampering with gas-level monitoring equipment.

In May, at least 67 miners and rescue workers died in methane blasts at a coal mine in southern Siberia.

The disaster was the second deadliest mining accident in Russia's post-Soviet history after a tragedy that claimed 110 lives at a different mine in the same region in 2007.

© 2010 AFP

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