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Explosion at Russia coal mine kills 18 people

By The Associated Press
AP Photo
Central entrance to Vorkutinskaya coal mine in Vorkuta on Monday. Rescuers have recovered 10 bodies at the Vorkutinskaya mine in Russia's Komi region. The blast at a coal mine in northern Russia on Monday killed 18 people, officials said.

MOSCOW -- An explosion at a coal mine in northern Russia on Monday killed 18 people, officials said Monday.

Rescuers have recovered 10 bodies at the Vorkutinskaya mine in Russia's Komi region, Vadim Kolesnikov, a duty officer at the Russian Interior Ministry, told the Associated Press.

There were 23 men in the mine at the time of the blast that happened because of the build-up of methane, the Emergency Situations Ministry said. Two of them were able to get out of the mine on their own and three were rescued.

Russian investigators opened a probe into suspected violation of safety rules at the mine, the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

Deadly accidents at coal mines are frequent in Russia because of negligence and recurrent violations of safety regulations. In January, nine people died in two separate mine accidents.


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