Hope of finding survivors dims

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

MEZHDURECHENSK, Russia (AP) - The head of the rescue operation at Russia's largest coal mine says hope is dimming that the 58 people trapped underground will be found alive.

Thirty-two people are known dead after two explosions shattered the Siberian mine over the weekend.

Twenty bodies were recovered today. All but one of them were rescue workers who had gone into the mine after the first blast. A second, more powerful blast occurred more than three hours later, destroying the main air shaft.

The Russian Emergencies Minister says the recovery work is becoming more difficult and “there is less and less hope of finding anyone alive.”

One worry has been methane gas, though officials say the levels are down to acceptable levels. Another danger is rising water deep in the mine.

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