Three rescuers sent to find survivors after a Siberian mine filled with smoke have died, bringing the disaster’s death toll to 14, TASS reports.
The accident happened when coal dust in a ventilation shaft caught alight. About 285 people were in the mine at the time, with the majority escaping.
Rescue teams went in to find the 35 still trapped. The rescuers’ bodies were found hours later on Thursday.
Eleven miners are known to have died, and 49 people have been taken to hospital with injuries, officials said. Some of the injured have smoke poisoning, and four are said to be in a critical condition.
The search for more survivors was paused earlier on Thursday amid fears that dangerously high levels of methane in the mine could cause an explosion.
Local governor Sergei Tsivilev said in a video on Telegram that work would resume “as soon as the gas concentration decreases to a safe level.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hoped “(they) will be able to save as many people as possible”, describing the loss of life as “a great tragedy”.