Rescuer Believed to be Dead Found Alive Day After Mine Disaster in Siberia

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In Russia, a rescue worker was found alive a day after the dramatic mining accident in Siberia. The man was among the 52 killed there yesterday, many of whom were still underground but was found to be alive this morning. The official death toll now stands at 51.

 

Yesterday an explosion took place at a coal mine in the Kemerovo region of southwestern Siberia, filling the mine with methane gas. Initially, there were 11 deaths, all miners. More than 230 miners were rescued, but dozens of others were still trapped underground.

In the course of the evening, the Russian authorities confirmed that they no longer had any hope of getting people out of the mine alive and that a total of 52 people were killed. Among them are 6 rescuers, who probably suffocated when they tried to rescue miners. The rescue operation was cancelled during the day yesterday due to additional explosion risk.

But a day later, one of those rescuers was found alive. The man was taken to hospital with signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. According to the Russian authorities, the rescuer spent the night in the mine and only surfaced this morning, where he called for help.

“The real heroes are the dead. I just fought to live, and many others probably would have done it for me,” the rescuer was quoted as saying by the Ria-Novosti news agency. His five colleagues who did die have, in the meantime, received a posthumous decoration for bravery.

So in total, there are now 51 dead. It has been the deadliest mining disaster in Russia in more than 10 years. Three days of mourning apply in the Kemerovo region. The director of the mine and two other executives have since been arrested. It is possible that the safety measures in the mine were violated.

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