An emergency operation is underway at a coal mine in Russia where the death toll from a gas explosion has reportedly risen to 61. A number of others have been injured and brought to nearby hospitals. About 100 workers were reported to be still underground several hours after the explosion at the mine in the Kemerovo region in Siberia.
But there was no indication of a cave-in or that they were trapped. Officials said the rescue was taking a long time because of smoke underground. Fatal explosions caused by methane are not unusual in the Kemerovo coal basin, where many mines lack modern security equipment.