Eight killed in Siberia coal mine blast

At least 8 miners were killed and more than 60 were trapped underground after a methane explosion occurred inside a coal mine in Russia's west Siberian region late Saturday night, the emergency situations ministry said.

The explosion took place at 8.55 p.m. Moscow time (1655 GMT) Saturday at the Raspadskaya coal mine in Kemerovo, when at least 359 people were inside, emergencies official Yelena Kalabushkina was quoted as saying by Xinhua Sunday.

After the explosion, 282 miners were rescued by relief workers, Natalya Anayeva, a spokesperson for the Investigative Committee of Russian Prosecutor General's Office, was quoted as saying.

Rescuers from 12 teams have established contact with some of the trapped miners.

Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu has briefed President Dmitry Medvedev on measures adopted to save the miners.

"Medvedev ordered the Emergencies Ministry head to report about the rescue efforts and use every opportunity to rescue people," the Kremlin press service said.

Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has also discussed the situation with regional governor Aman Tuleyev.

Founded in 1973, the Raspadskaya coal mine is one of Russia's leading coal producers, with total coal reserves estimated at 782 million tonnes.

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