A fire in a gold and metals mine in Siberia killed at least 11 miners, and rescuers were looking for another 24, a Russian emergency official said Friday.
The bodies could not yet be lifted above ground for lack of necessary equipment, which is yet en route to the site, officials said.
Rescuers meanwhile were rushed to local hospitals for treatment after "minor carbon monoxide poisoning."
Between 31 and 33 miners were trapped underground after a fire broke out underground at the British-owned coal mine in the Chita region, which borders China and Mongolia, hindustantimes.com reports.
Of the 64 miners in the pit when the blaze erupted, 33 had been evacuated, the Interfax news agency reported, citing the Emergency Situations Ministry's Siberian branch. The Chita regional administration said the remaining miners were being evacuated through a horizontal tunnel connected to the mine.
Mines in the former Soviet Union have endured a poor safety record in the last fifteen years. Three miners were killed in a blast in another Siberian shaft in August and six men lost their lives in an accident at a Ukrainian pit in the same month.
As it was previously reported the fire in Siberian mine was caused by a failure to observe production regulations.
Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
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