Death toll in Russian mine blast rises to 43, 47 still missing

17:05, May 11, 2010      

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Rescuers and miners talk at the administrative building of Raspadskaya mine in the Kemerovo region in Russia's coal-rich Kuzbass region May 9, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo) The death toll from the coal mine blasts in Russia's Siberian region has risen to 43, Russian news agencies reported on Tuesday.

Forty-seven miners were still missing in the Raspadskaya coal mine as Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrived in the region of Kemerovo, where the mine is situated, Itar-Tass news agency said.

Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday that 30 people were killed and 60 others remained trapped at the mine after two methane gas explosions Saturday night.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has instructed Prime Minister Putin on Sunday to set up a government committee for rescue and assistance to victims of the mine disaster. The committee was headed by First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov.

Founded in 1973, the Raspadskaya was one of Russia's leading coking coal producers, with total coal reserves estimated at 782 million tons.


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