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Bodies of three miners, who died in mine explosion, taken to surface

January 18, 2015, 9:01 UTC+3 YEKATERINBURG

The bodies will be identified on Sunday

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© Police’s press service in Sverdlovsk Region/Valery Gorelykh

YEKATERINBURG, January 18. /TASS/. Rescuers finished eliminating in the Yuzhnaya mine in Russia’s Sverdlovsk region the debris, left after the Saturday explosion, representative of the local police’s press service Valery Gorelykh told TASS on Sunday.

“Bodies of three miners were lifted to the surface,” he said.

He said the bodies will be identified on Sunday.

“Families of the victims will receive material aid and assistance in organisation of funerals,” the representative said.

What happened

The explosion occurred on Saturday, January 17, at about 4:45 a.m. Moscow time. A total of 94 miners had been underground, after the alert signal 89 were taken to the surface, the emergency situations ministry reported. Two people were taken to a local hospital, and until Sunday morning there was no information about three miners, though a source in local law enforcement authorities told TASS that two miners had died.

About 100 rescuers have been engaged in eliminating the aftermaths of the mine blast in the Sverdlovsk region, the press service of the Russian Emergencies Ministry told TASS earlier on Saturday.

At least 83 rescuers and 10 vehicles have been engaged in the efforts to eliminate the aftermaths of the accident, having put out the fire in extremely difficult conditions.

The authorities opened a criminal case on violation of safety requirements for mining, construction and other works.

Main reason of accident

Investigators say a main version of the accident at the Yuzhnaya mine in the Urals could be a casual detonation of twelve kilograms of an explosive, Alexander Shulga of the local branch of the Investigative Committee told TASS.

“This is the main version, and more detailed information will be available after the forensic and explosive tests,” he said.

He also said forensic examinations of the three bodies had been appointed. “Besides, we shall organise a forensic-genetic examination to identify the victims,” he said.

About 30 investigators are involved in questioning and studies.

“They have questioned already several dozen people, and the confiscated documents are being analysed,” the representative said.

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