Moscow, November 26 (agency)
The death toll in the fire at a coal mine in Siberia, Russia has risen to 51, while rescue workers have found one person alive in the mine. Officials had earlier said that 14 bodies were found by the rescue team. At the same time, the search operation for 38 missing people was stopped due to the spread of toxic fumes generated by the fire. There was no hope of survival, the official news agency quoted emergency services officials as saying. Interfax quoted a regional administration official as saying that the death toll in Thursday’s incident has risen to 51. There were a total of 285 people in the Litsvyazhanya mine at the time of the incident. Russian Deputy Prosecutor General Dmitry Demshin told reporters that a spark was suspected to have triggered a methane explosion, which started the fire.
Russia’s Investigative Committee has launched a criminal investigation into the allegation that the fire broke out due to a breach of safety regulations. The director of the mine and two senior managers have also been taken into custody. Another criminal investigation was launched on Friday for the alleged negligence of state officials who inspected the mine earlier this month.