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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 May 2007, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
Methane blast rocks Russian mine
Miners read lists of survivors at the Yubileynaya mine 24 May 2007
It is the second mine disaster in the area in two months
At least 36 workers have been killed and six injured by a methane blast at a Siberian coal mine, a spokeswoman for Russia's Emergencies Ministry has said.

A further two miners are reportedly still unaccounted for.

Some 178 mine workers were rescued alive after the blast, an official told the AFP news agency.

The mine is near Novokuznetsk town, in Siberia's Kemerovo region. A methane blast at the nearby Ulyanovskaya mine killed more than 100 workers in March.

Russia's coal mines frequently suffer accidents, blamed on ageing technology, poor safety standards and a shortfall in investment following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The latest blast took place at the Yubileynaya mine, which is operated by the same company as runs the Ulyanovskaya mine.

Worried relatives of the workers had gathered at the mine's gates amid heavy rain.

A miner who gave his name as Andrei was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying: "I was in the mine at the time of the blast.

"I felt the shock and I immediately went for the exit."

Russia's mine safety woes
20 Mar 07 |  Europe

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