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MOSCOW, February 27. /TASS/. Work has been suspended for a long time at the Severnaya coal mine in Vorkuta in northern Russia where at least four miners were killed in blasts, Russia’s Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said on Saturday.
"Time will be needed to complete the search and rescue works, to resume life support system of the coal mine and other technological operations," the minister told a meeting at the mine.
The minister called on the management to solve all issues so that the staff members are provided with jobs.
A methane outburst occurred at the mine at the depth of 780 meters on Thursday afternoon. Two explosions caused rock collapse and fire later occurred at the scene, the Vorkutaugol company that owns the mine said.
A total of 110 people were trapped underground and eight of them were directly at the accident scene. Some 80 miners were evacuated in the first hours. Eight of them sought medical assistance and four were hospitalized. Four miners were confirmed dead and the fate of 26 miners remains unknown.
All parts of the coal mine where the miners might be trapped have been searched. Rescuers have been unable so far to reach an area of around 6,300 kilometers.