Source Pravda.Ru

Search continues for 3 coal miners in Kuzbas; Death toll at 44

The search was continuing Monday for three miners still unaccounted for after Saturday's methane explosion in the Taizhina coalmine in the Kuzbas near Osinniky, the press service of Kemerovo Region reported. Updated information from the region's Emergency Services Department said the mine had been undergoing planned repairs and accident-prevention measures on April 10, the day of the tragedy. Crews were testing all systems and equipment. There were 53 persons underground when the blast occurred. Three returned to the surface unaided, and another three were brought up by rescuers and hospitalized with injuries. Forty-four bodies have been found.

Kemerovo Gov. Aman Tuleyev planned a meeting today in Osinniky to work out aid for the families of the dead and injured miners. Tuleyev has declared a day of mourning throughout the Kuzbas on April 13.

The Taizhina mine is rated as holding more than 10 million tonnes of extractable coal. The mine employs a staff of 650 and mines up to 700,000 tonnes a year. It has been in operation since August 2001.