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Rescue halted for Russian miners

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Rescue halted for Russian miners

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Rescue operations to find 24 miners missing in a Siberian coal mine explosion have been halted over fears of a new blast.

Workers are being moved away from the area as volatile methane gas is rising to the surface and large fires are burning underground. The official death toll now stands at 66.

The explosion on Sunday ripped through nearby building above the surface. Search teams have been sifting through the wreckage over the past five days in a bid to find survivors.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited the site on Tuesday and has vowed that a government probe will uncover the reasons behind the blast.

But survivors and the victims’ relatives allege that management negligence and lack of concern for safety are to blame.