MOSCOW, Nov 25 (KUNA) -- At least 52 people, including six rescuers, were reportedly killed in the devastating blast that hit Listvyazhnaya coal mine in Kemerovo region, southwestern Siberia, earlier Thursday.
The tragedy, the deadliest mine accident in Russia in a decade, resulted from explosion of methane gas and toxic fumes nearly 250 meters underground. Officials of the Ministry of Emergency Situations estimate that 285 miners were at the site when the blast occurred, according to Tass news agency.
Meanwhile, the state TV channel reported that the security services arrested director and deputy director of the mine while criminal probe into the accident got underway.
Local authorities in Kemerovo declared a three-day mourning starting from Friday as a tribute to the victims. (pickup previous)