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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 October, 2003, 07:22 GMT
Blast hits second Russian mine
Miners in Novoshakhtinsk
Russia's miners have suffered two disasters inside less than a week

A powerful explosion has hit a mine in the Russian far eastern town of Partizansk, killing at least five miners with up to 40 reported missing.

First reports said methane had exploded inside the mine where 64 people were working at a depth of 750 metres.

Twenty managed to reach the surface, five of whom were injured, said Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoygu.

In central Russia, all but one of 13 miners trapped six days in a flooded mine have been found alive.

The blast in Partizansk's Tsentralnaya mine came at 1115 local time (0115 GMT) on Wednesday while drilling was in progress.

The town is situated north of the port of Nakhodka on Russia's Pacific coast.

Accidents are frequent in coal mines in Russia where apart from the natural hazards associated with the work, miners complain of deteriorating safety conditions.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's James Ingham
"Friends and relatives are waiting anxiously"



SEE ALSO:
Setback for Russia mine rescue
28 Oct 03  |  Europe
In pictures: Russian mine drama
27 Oct 03  |  Photo Gallery


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