Russia Mine Explosion Kills 44, More Feared Dead

April 12, 2004
Hopes are fading for the three remaining missing miners at the Taizhina mine in Osinniki, Siberia, which was destroyed by an explosion April 10. Rescuers have found 44 bodies so far.

Rescuers were unable to use machines to dig through the rubble, because they feared further explosions. They used their hands to dig out the debris in the collapsed tunnel to find the bodies. Trapped miners were heard calling out the day of the explosion, but those voices have stopped.

"They're digging by hand to try to get through. A lot of earth has fallen down. They can't use machinery because of the danger of a spark," Ilgiz Galeev, the administrator of the regional emergency health services, told Reuters.

Some miners 13 total managed to escape the blast and make it to the surface by themselves. Several others were rescued with serious burns.

Russian authorities believe a build up of methane triggered the blast, which occurred approximately 1,840 feet below ground.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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