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    Death toll in Siberian mine blasts reaches 60

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    Rescuers found eight more bodies overnight at a west Siberian coal mine, bringing the death toll to 60.

    Rescuers found eight more bodies overnight at a west Siberian coal mine, bringing the death toll to 60.

    "Rescuers have found another eight bodies, which brings the death count to 60" a rescue operation official said on Wednesday.

    At least 99 people were injured and 30 are still missing after two explosions at the Raspadskaya coalmine, near the town of Mezhdurechensk in the Kemerovo Region, over the weekend.

    Russia's Emergencies Minister Sergey Shoigu, who had flown to the mine to personally supervise the rescue operation, earlier said that the rescue effort had been hampered by the threat of further explosions, underground fires and piles of debris.

    Nine rescue teams are trying to reach the areas where the missing miners were working at the time of the first explosion last Saturday.

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered that rescue operations continue until it is clear that all possible efforts have been taken to save the lives of people who have been trapped underground.

    The Raspadskaya mine is Russia's largest coalmine, producing 10% of coking coal in the country. It is characterized by high concentrations of methane, a gas that is released from coal or surrounding rock strata in the process of coalmining.

    MEZHDURECHENSK (Kemerovo Region), May 12 (RIA Novosti)

     

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