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Russian region mourns lost miners

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Russian region mourns lost miners
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A day of mourning is being observed in the Russian region where a coal mine disaster killed at least 66 workers.

The rescue effort to find 24 men still missing has been called off because of the risk of further explosions.

Local community leaders say they did not need to wait for the national government to declare an official period of mourning.

School director Yuri Baranov said: “We have been stricken with grief since the 9th of May. The whole city is in mourning. And we don’t need to wait for an official decision.”

The mine is in the city of Mezhdurechensk in the Kemerovo region.

This is the same region where 110 people were killed by a methane gas blast in a different mine in 2007.

Observers say safety regulations are often poorly enforced in Russia and fatal accidents are all too common.