More than 150 miners were safely brought to the surface soon after the explosion in the mine in Novokuznetsk, some 3,000 kilometers (1,850 miles) east of Moscow, said Yulia Stadnikova, a spokeswoman for the Emergency Situations Ministry. She said four of those brought to the surface were injured, but the severity was not known.
Valery Korchagin, an official with the ministry's regional branch, said 217 people had been working in the Yubileinaya mine at the time of the blast; 28 of them were in the immediate vicinity of the blast and the rest were in other parts of the mine.
An explosion at another mine in the region in March killed 108 people. That was the deadliest accident in more than 60 years in Russia's mines, many of which fell into disrepair when government subsidies dried up after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.