Explosion Hits Siberia Coal Mine In Russia. 52 Dead, Many Injured (Video)

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A rescue team searching for 35 miners who are trapped deep underground following an explosion at a mine in Eastern Russia have failed to return to the surface.

The blast took place 820ft below the surface at Listvyazhnaya coal mine in Siberia shortly after 9am Thursday, when coal dust in the ventilation ducts caught fire.

The huge explosion has killed at least 11 miners – including a 23-year-old – who were ‘wiped off the earth’ in the blast, and injured 43 others, four of whom are in a serious condition.

But 35 miners remain unaccounted for and are feared trapped, prompting a massive search effort involving 154 rescuers.

Efforts to rescue those trapped in the mine were halted on Thursday afternoon because of an explosion threat, and rescuers were rushed out of the mine, administrators told the Interfax news agency. It is unclear how long the search will be halted.

But a single group of rescuers with up to four hours of oxygen did not reappear at the surface, and were lost in the mine, according to local reports. Each team comprises four or five searchers.

There were also local reports of a second explosion at the coal mine this afternoon, around 12 hours after the first.

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