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    Update: Death toll in West Siberia mine blast rises to 106

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    The latest reports suggest that 106 of the 203 miners were killed Monday in a methane blast that struck a recently opened West Siberian mine, rescuers said at 7p.m. Moscow time (4 p.m. GMT) Tuesday.

    KEMEROVO, March 20 (RIA Novosti) - The latest reports suggest that 106 of the 203 miners were killed Monday in a methane blast that struck a recently opened West Siberian mine, rescuers said at 7p.m. Moscow time (4 p.m. GMT) Tuesday.

    "As of 23:00 local time, the number of victims reached 106, and the search for another four people is continuing," a rescue service official said.

    The regional administration of Kemerovo said earlier that rescuers had saved only 93 of the miners trapped underground at the time of the explosion at the Ulyanovskaya mine in Novokuznetsk, the largest coal-producing center in the Kemerovo Region.

    The Federal Service for the Oversight of the Environment, Technology and Nuclear Management said the condition of equipment could not have caused the methane-air mixture to explode. "The service is considering two versions - subsidence and a human factor," the service said.

    Over 500 rescuers are working at the scene searching for the four miners still missing and taking the bodies of those killed to the surface, the press service of the Emergency Situations Ministry said.

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