The death toll from three separate explosions at a coal mine in northern Russia’s Komi Republic has reached 36, Russian authorities said Sunday.
According to Russian Ministry of Emergencies, an explosion in the mine also took place during a search-and-rescue operation, which killed five rescue workers and a miner in the Severnaya coal mine in Vorkuta city.
There were a total of 111 workers inside the mine out of which 81 were rescued on Feb. 25 following an explosion.
Denis Paikin, technical director of Vorkutaugol, the company operating the mine, said three explosions took place and hinted that the remaining trapped 26 miners may not survive.
After visiting the mine, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich also said: “There is no possibility the 26 trapped miners may still be alive”.
Dvorkovich said altogether the death toll was now 36, which included rescue workers and miners.
The caretaker head of Komi Republic declared Sunday, Monday and Tuesday as days of mourning.
Turkish Foreign Ministry in a statement Sunday expressed condolences over the incident to the Russian people and the families of those killed.