Rescue teams find nine bodies in Russia potash mine

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The construction workers were trapped underground by smoke after a fire broke out in mine operated by fertilizer company Uralkali in Perm region, a day ago.

Officials say 17 construction workers were inside the mine in Solikamsk, when the fire broke out and eight of them were quickly evacuated.
Officials say 17 construction workers were inside the mine in Solikamsk, when the fire broke out and eight of them were quickly evacuated. (AP)

Rescue teams on Sunday found the bodies of nine construction workers who had been trapped inside a burning potash mine in Russia’s Ural Mountains.

A fire erupted on Saturday at the mine operated by the fertilizer company Uralkali in the Perm region, where two teams of workers were doing maintenance work. Uralkali said the mine had shut down its operations for the maintenance.

Officials said 17 construction workers were inside the mine in Solikamsk, which is located 1,200 kilometers east of Moscow, when the fire broke out and eight of them were quickly evacuated.

The blaze cut off access to nine other workers who were in a different section.

Russian President Putin urged regional authorities and investigators to conduct a thorough probe into what happened inside the mine.
Russian President Putin urged regional authorities and investigators to conduct a thorough probe into what happened inside the mine. (AP)

Operation continues 

Russian news agencies on Sunday quoted the rescue operations headquarters as saying that all nine bodies had been found after an hours-long operation and they were now being recovered.

The firefighters were still putting out the blaze.

The Perm region declared on Monday a day of mourning for the workers.

Russian President Vladimir Putin urged regional authorities and investigators to conduct a thorough probe into what happened inside the mine.

Recurring accidents

Poor safety standards are often to blame for recurring accidents in Russian mines.

In February 2016, 36 miners and rescue workers died in a coal mine above the Arctic circle.

In another major Russian mining accident in August 2017, 17 people died after a diamond mine in Siberia flooded.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies