Bodies of two miners found at Russian Arctic mine: official

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The bodies of two miners missing since an accident in an Arctic Russian mine late last week have been found, officials said on Tuesday.

Seventy-nine miners were working down the Severnaya mine in the northen Komi region when a pit collapsed on Saturday trapping three workers. One of them was found alive but exhausted on Sunday.

The bodies of the other two were found early Tuesday, said mine operator Vorkutaugol, a unit of steelmaker Severstal.

"It has been established that the miners died immediately when the rock collapsed," the emergencies ministry said.

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

Twin gas blasts at Raspadskaya pit, Russia's biggest underground coal mine, killed more than 60 people in Siberia last year.

© 2011 AFP

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