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Russian miners still trapped underground

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Russian miners still trapped underground

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Work continues in Siberia to try to free miners trapped underground after a fire broke out in a gold mine. The blaze started Thursday afternoon in the central shaft of the Darasun mining complex in the remote Chita region on the border with China. Around a dozen bodies have been found.

Several miners managed to crawl to safety through a tunnel, but some 20 men remain trapped. High temperatures, thick smoke and poisonous gases have complicated the search for survivors. It’s thought the fire was caused by welding work inside the shaft.

Russia’s gold mines generally have a better safety record than the more hazardous coal mining industry which has seen a large number of accidents since the collapse of the Soviet Union. A probe is being launched into the activities of London-based Highland Gold which owns the complex.