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Siberian mine explosion toll mounts to 51 as six rescuers perish

MOSCOW, Nov 27: Six rescuers died during attempts to reach miners trapped after a mine explosion in Siberia on Thursday in one of the worst mine tragedies to occur in Russia. The toll has gone up to 51.

The miners were killed on Thursday when coal dust caught fire, and smoke quickly filled the Listvyazhnaya mine through the ventilation system, Russia’s TASS news agency said. There were 285 miners inside at the time of explosion.

As relatives of the victims gathered outside the snow-covered mine site, a former worker at the mine, Denis Timokhin, told independent TV channel Dozhd that safety violations were frequent at the facility, accusing the management of forcing miners to work despite high methane concentrations.

TASS and RIA-Novosti cited emergency officials as saying that there was no chance of finding any more survivors in the mine.

The mishap took place in Listvyazhnaya coal mine in the Kemerovo region near the town of Belovo in Siberia.

In the coal-producing region of Kemerovo, 3,500 km east of Moscow, Listvyazhnaya mine is privately held.

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