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52 People killed in Siberia’s Mine Accident

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Dozens of people have died, and many others are still missing in a coal mine accident in Russia’s Siberia region.

The incident occurred when coal dust caught fire, and smoke quickly filled the Listvyazhnaya mine through the ventilation system.

Six rescuers were among the victims after a failed operation to reach dozens of missing miners had turned to tragedy.

Kemerovo governor Sergei Tsivilev said on Telegram that while many survived the accident, at least 35 people remained trapped.

In another Telegram message, the governor said 49 had been injured and were seeking medical help.

The majority of the 285 people in the the Listvyazhnaya mine, in the Kemerovo region some 3,500km (2,175 miles) east of Moscow, escaped in the immediate aftermath of the incident, at around 08:35 local time (01:35 GMT) on Thursday.

This is not the first accident at the mine, according to local media, with a methane gas explosion killing 13 in 2004. More widely, accidents in Russian mines are not uncommon.

In 2016, authorities assessed the safety of the country’s 58 coal mines and declared 34% of them potentially unsafe. The list did not include the Listvyazhnaya mine at the time, Russian reports say.

Russian President Vladimir Putin described the loss of life as “a great tragedy”.

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