The death toll in the gas blast at a coal mine in Russia’s northern republic of Komi has risen to 18, according to the republic's Interior Ministry. Bodies of ten people have been pulled out to the surface.
About twenty-six miners were working in the section of the mine where methane exploded at a depth of 800 meters. In total some 259 people were working at the mine at that time.
The Vorkutinskaya mine, in operation since 1973, is owned by the northern division of one of Russia's largest steel producers Severstal. It produces 1.8 million tons of coal annually.
Local authorities have already promised to pay compensation to families of the killed miners at the rate of about two million rubles ($66,300).
Author: Julia Alieva