18 trapped in Russian coal mine blast

MOSCOW. February 11. KAZINFORM A total of 18 people were trapped in a coal mine blast in Russia's Komi Republic, the Emergency Situations Ministry said Monday.

The explosion occurred at 10:28 Moscow time (0628 GMT) in the Varkutinskaya coal mine in the northwest republic, according to the emergencies authorities, according to Xinhua.

There were 22 coal miners working underground in the morning. Four of them were raised up to the ground automatically during the blast, Yelena Smirnykh, deputy chief of the emergencies ministry's information department told local media.

The other 18 miners could be trapped in the debris, she added.

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