Fire in Siberian coal mine traps 19

Fire in Siberian coal mine traps 19

A fire broke out at a coal mine in Siberia on Thursday, trapping at least 19 miners, a Russian emergency official said.

The blaze broke out around 8:15 a.m. at least 280 feet underground in the Vershino-Darasunsky mine in the Chita region, about 3,000 miles east of Moscow, said Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman Yulia Stadnikova.

Of the 48 miners working at the time of the blaze, 29 had escaped, she said.

Accidents are common in the coal industry in the former Soviet Union, where mine operators often lack funds to invest in safety equipment and technical upgrades.

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