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MOSCOW, March 1 /TASS/. Another explosion has rocked the Severnaya mine in Vorkuta, Russia’s Komi Republic, the Russian Emergencies’ Ministry press service told TASS.
"Transducers registered a new blast in the emergency zone," the source said. He added that the robots the emergencies ministry was using to monitor the situation in the mine had also registered the explosion.
"According to clarified reports, it is the sixth explosion in the mine since the main accident," the ministry said. All search and rescue operations in the mine came to a halt on February 28 after a blast had killed six mine rescuers. "There are no people in the mine, which has been sealed off. Preparatory works are under way to isolate the damaged section," the Russian Emergencies Ministry said.
A methane outburst followed by two explosions occurred at the mine at a depth of 780 meters on Thursday afternoon (February 25). The blasts caused the rock to collapse. A fire later erupted at the scene. Nine people were hurt in the accident. A total of 111 people were underground when the methane exploded. Eighty-one of them were raised to the surface in the first hours after the accident. Four people died. The fate of another 26 miners trapped underground remained unknown. Seventy mine rescuers from Russia’s Kemerovo region arrived in Vorkuta by plane on February 26.
The third explosion hit the Severnaya mine early on February 28. As a result, six people died. They included five mine rescuers from the Pechora paramilitary mine rescue squad of the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations and one mine employee. Another five people were injured.
Russian Vice-Premier Arkady Dvorkovich, who is heading the governmental commission for helping the injured miners and the families of the dead, has put the final death toll at 36.