Russian coal mine blast death toll rises to 18

The death toll in the gas blast at a coal mine in Russia’s northern republic of Komi has risen to 18, the republic’s Interior Ministry said on Monday.

“According to preliminary data, 18 people were killed and ten bodies have been pulled out to the surface,” the ministry said in a statement.

However, the Russian Investigative Committee puts the death toll figure at 15, RIA Novosti reports.

According to the regional Emergencies Ministry, 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.

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