A mining fire in Siberia’s Kemerovo region has killed at least 11 miners and injured dozens more, regional authorities said Thursday.
At least 285 miners were inside when the blaze erupted at the Listvyazhnaya coal mine in Kemerovo — also known as Kuzbass — 3,600 kilometers east of Moscow, Governor Sergei Tsivilev wrote on his Telegram channel.
The emergency services told Interfax that 237 miners were evacuated, 43 of whom sustained various injuries.
The death toll could rise further with 49 miners remaining trapped inside, according to Interfax.
The fire is believed to have started due to a ventilation shaft explosion 250 meters below ground, Interfax reported, citing unnamed technical supervision authorities.
“The top preliminary theory is equipment malfunction and natural causes,” they were quoted as saying.
Law enforcement authorities have opened a criminal case into the violation of industrial safety requirements that resulted in a person’s death.