Three miners have been trapped underground as as a result of a landslide that occurred at a coal mine in Russia’s republic of Komi on Saturday, emergencies services said.
Seventy miners out of the 73 who were working at the Severnaya mine when the landslide occurred at around 6 pm local time (14:00 GMT) during a shift change have been evacuated.
The three trapped miners are alive, an emergencies services official said. “Rescuers have established connection with one of the trapped miners,” he said. “We know for sure that he is alive. He made it clear by rapping that his two colleagues are also alive.”
The local emergencies services said on its website that the landslide occurred as a result of a rock bump. A ventilation shaft at the mine has not been damaged, the statement said.
All mining operations at Severnaya have been stopped. Twenty rescuers and a firefighting unit are working at the site.
The Severnaya mine is operated by Vorkutaugol, one of the largest mining companies operating in the Pechorsky Coal Basin, Russia’s second largest after Kuzbass. The company is owned by Severstal, one of the biggest steel holdings in Russia, through its subsidiary Severstal-Resurs.