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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 August, 2004, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK
Three Russian miners found alive
Three miners have been rescued from a collapsed coalmine in the north of Russia, reports say.

The men had been missing since part of the mine, near the Arctic city of Vorkuta, caved in on Tuesday.

One hundred and forty six miners got to safety but eight were trapped - the body of one was recovered on Wednesday and four others are still missing.

A special commission is investigating the causes of the accident, Itar-Tass news agency said.

It is still not clear what caused the collapse. There was no explosion and no fire.

Rescuers have been drilling through the debris to reach the miners and provide them with air and water and heavy equipment is being used to try and clear the fallen rock at the mine.

The BBC's Sarah Rainsford in Moscow says such accidents are common in Russia, where many coal mines are old and poorly maintained.

In April, 47 men died in a coal mine explosion in Siberia.

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