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.