Nine miners feared trapped after Russian pit blast
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Nine coalminers were feared trapped under rubble on Monday after an explosion at a pit in the Komi region of northern Russia, the Emergencies Ministry said.
The ministry said the blast at 10:28 a.m. local time (2.28 p.m Singapore time) was probably caused by a buildup of methane. It initially said 18 people had been trapped but later issued a statement saying several had escaped or been rescued.
The mine belongs to a division of Severstal, one of Russia's largest steel producers.
"Our rescue team has only just gone out to the mine," said Yevgeny Sukharev, a spokesman for Vorkutaugol, a coal supplier for Severstal.