Eight of the miners trapped after a fire in a Siberian gold mine have managed to get to safety, but hope is fading for other men still missing. The number of miners known to have died in the blaze now stands at twenty one, and four men are unaccounted for.
Three managed to scramble out of the pit on their own. Nikolai Selishev told how they managed to escape before showing rescuers where to look for other survivors: “We went towards the fresh air, everywhere the passages were blocked, but at least we could breathe the fresh air coming in. We just sat it out. When the level of fumes lessened we decided to make our move.”
A safety team located five other survivors along with the bodies of nine other miners. The site is owned by the London based Highland Gold Mining company. It is located at Chita in eastern Siberia close to the Chinese border. As anxious relatives continue to wait for news, Russia’s emergency situations minister has arrived at the site and is to lead an inquiry into safety conditions at the mine.