12 Feb 2013

Coal mine explosion

8:47 pm on 12 February 2013

An underground explosion which caused a tunnel collapse at a coal mine in the Komi region of northern Russia on Monday killed 18 people.

The explosion at the Vorkutinskaya mine is thought to have been caused by a methane gas build-up.

The emergencies ministry in Moscow said 259 miners were working underground at the time: 23 were in the shaft where the explosion took place at a depth of 800 metres.

About 240 men escaped to the surface.

The coal mine outside the city of Vorkuta in the Russian Arctic is operated by Severstal.