Yevgeny Anoshin, spokesman for Rostekhnadzor, an agency that oversees mine safety, told ITAR-Tass that a group of miners had burned automobile tires on Friday deep in the closed mine to melt the extracted tungsten, a heat-resistant metal used to make light bulbs.
Since the mine lacked a ventilation system, the extremely high concentration of carbon dioxide became lethal, Anoshin said.
Seven other miners were saved by rescue workers, ITAR-Tass reported.
The mine, located seven kilometers (four miles) from the town of Zakamensk, was closed in 1996, but several residents continued to descend into the pit to extract tungsten.
After WWII, the Soviet army left Austria, and the latter had always remained a neutral state and never joined NATO
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