Two explosions at a mine in Russia

The first blast occurred at 20:55 Moscow Summer Time (16:55 UTC) with the second at 01:00 MST (21:00 UTC). The explosions were confirmed by investigators to have been caused by methane gas.

A secondary explosion was reported approximately four hours later, with 20 rescue workers now among those missing. The second explosion caused a collapse of the mine’s ventilation shaft, drastically reducing the flow of fresh air into the mine.

Rescue efforts were suspended after the second blast. As of 10 May 2010, 30 people were confirmed to have died, at least 71 injured and up to 80 remained trapped underground.

The Russian emergencies minister confirmed that rescue efforts were ongoing, saying “There is always a chance of recovery.” Rescue work resumed late on 9 May after methane levels had dropped below safety limits and, at the peak of the operation, 560 people were involved with aid being sent from other parts of Russia.

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