A rescue team had to suspend its descent to recover workers who remain blocked in a mine in the Russian city of Solikamsk, the Perm Territory, while being just 10 meters (33 feet) away from their probable location due to high temperature and smoke, the commander of a paramilitary rescue squad said Saturday.
Later, the rescues began the sixth attempt to recover the miners, spokeswoman for the Perm Territory's government Daria Levchenko told Sputnik.
According to Levchenko, little hope has been left of the possibility that the miners would be found alive.
The rescue operation is currently underway.
"The rescuers have managed to get to the mine shaft from the sixth attempt," Levchenko said.
Uralkali, meanwhile, announced that the work of the Solikamsk-3 mine had been suspended until the rescue operation finished. According to the company, the fire could have been caused by the construction works in the mine, adding that a special commission would establish the causes of the incident.