MOSCOW, November 25. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has handed down instructions to do everything possible to continue a rescue operation following an accident at the Listvyazhnaya coal mine in the Kemerovo region, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
"Tragic news came today about Kemerovo’s Listvyazhnaya mine. The president has already received a report from regional Governor Sergei Tsivilev," he said, adding that Putin had also held a phone call with Acting Emergencies Minister Alexander Chupriyan "who is about to depart for Kemerovo together with head of Rostekhnadzor [Russia’s industrial safety regulator] to organize efforts to continue the rescue operation."
"The president instructed the governor and the acting minister to arrange assistance for the injured and make every possible effort to continue the rescue operation," Peskov said.
The Siberian branch of the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision received a report about a fire and an explosion in the mine’s ventilation shaft at 09:08 am local time. According to the Emergencies Ministry, the fire broke out at a depth of 250 meters. The accident was caused by coal dust that had caught fire in the ventilation shaft, sending smoke across the mine, an emergency source told TASS.
The regional authorities have confirmed the death of 11 miners.