Few metres of a tunnel still have to be driven to reach accident-stricken Zapadnaya-Kapitalnaya mine. As press secretary of the governor of the Rostov Region (the Southern federal district) Kirill Zhitenev said, this distance is approximately three metres.
The tunnel through which the miners, trapped in the mine, will presumably be able to come onto the surface is being driven from the neighbouring Komsomolskaya Pravda mine.
According to the press secretary, it is now planned to drill an opening through rock for examining the atmosphere in Zapadnaya-Kapitalnaya mine.
Zhitenev also said that the speed of the inflow of water into the mine has evidently been diminished. "The flow's speed is now 9-10 cm an hour, whereas yesterday it was 40 cm an hour".
The accident in Zapadnaya-Kapitalnaya mine occurred on Thursday night because of a break through the shaft. The water which had amassed in the underground workings flowed into the mine. As many as 25 miners managed to get onto the surface by themselves, while 46 remained under the ground. The mine was, in effect, flooded. At about 6.30 on Saturday 33 miners established contact. The first three men from this group were raised onto the surface at 12.30 Moscow time.
As many as 13 people are now remaining blocked in the mine.