Three miners were killed and four injured as methane explosion ripped through a mine in the coal-rich Kemerovo region of Siberia, the Emergency Situations Ministry said Friday.
The Thursday night blast filled a mine shaft in the town of Anzhero-Sudzhensk, about 3,000 kilometers (1875 miles) east of Moscow, with smoke, said ministry spokesman Viktor Beltsov.
Thirty-one miners had been in the shaft at the time of the accident, he said. Four were hospitalized.
Accidents are common in the Russian coal industry, which since the breakup of the Soviet Union has lacked public or private funds to invest in safety equipment and technical upgrades, reports the AP.