Death toll from explosion at Russian mine rises to eight

12:53, December 24, 2009      

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At least eight miners were killed on Wednesday by an explosion in the Ural mountains at an iron ore mine owned by Russia's Evraz Group.

"Eight bodies have been found and another one remains unaccounted for," a spokesman for the Urals regional emergency situations center was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

Earlier report said six miners were killed in the explosion.

The Evraz Group's Vice President Alexei Agureyev confirmed that the blast had occurred at the Yestyuninskaya Iron Ore Mine near the town of Nizhny Tagil.

"For reasons yet to be determined, explosives went off when they were being transported," Agureyev said.

All operations at the mine were halted, and an investigation into the incident was underway, he added.

Various sources said between 114 and 126 people were working in the mine at the time of the blast and all of them had been evacuated.

The Evraz Group is one of Russia's largest mining and steelwork companies. The iron ore mine hit by Wednesday's explosion belongs to the group's subsidiary Vysokogorsky GOK.

Source: Xinhua
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