Coal mine fire in Russia: Dozens of missing, officials say

Image copyright REUTERS Image caption The fire took hold at Mine 7 near Yakutsk, in Russia’s northeast

Up to 29 people are missing after a coal mine fire in Russia’s Siberian region of Yakutia, authorities say.

Eleven people are known to have died as a result of the blaze, the state-run news agency TASS said, quoting the regional emergency situations ministry.

By Saturday, nearly 200 rescue workers had reached the disaster zone, but 300 workers had not been located, TASS reported.

The Mine 7 site is next to the village of Yautsevka, some 370km (230 miles) north of the regional capital Yakutsk.

Officials are believed to have reached the accident scene on Saturday, but could not find the missing workers, The Siberian Times reported.

Fatal mine fires are not uncommon in the area, where heavy industry runs alongside dense forest and mineral-rich grasslands.

The region was hardest hit by the 1994-95 fires in which an estimated 65,000 people were killed, according to The Siberian Times.

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