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VORKUTA, February 28. /TASS/. There are actually no chances for 26 coalminers trapped underground in a coalmine blast in north Russia to survive, Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said on Sunday.
‘We have to state that all the parameters that have evolved at the accident-hit section of the coalmine do not allow anyone to survive," the minister said.
According to the minister, "the data show that there are high temperatures and no oxygen in the area of the underground space where 26 coalminers were staying."
"Precisely this section was the epicenter of the third explosion," the minister added.
A methane burst at the Severnaya coalmine in Vorkuta on February 25 triggered two blasts and rock collapse followed by a fire.
There were 111 coalminers underground at the time of the explosion, with 81 of them recovered to the surface. Four miners died and another nine were injured in the accident. The fate of 26 miners remained unknown and there has been no contact with them since the time of the blasts.
A third blast hit the mine early on Sunday during a search and rescue operation, killing six persons, including 5 rescuers. Another five persons were injured.
The situation at the coalmine has sharply worsened, the emergencies minister said.
"A powerful third explosion has occurred today, triggering grave consequences. Unfortunately, five professional rescuers died during their rescue operation. They worked in the most complex conditions and demonstrated their courage, heroism and the highest level of preparedness but, unfortunately, they died along with another coalminer," the emergencies minister said.