Russian coal mine death toll rises to 60

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The Independent Online

The death toll from a Siberian coal mine disaster at the weekend rose to 60 today when rescue workers found eight bodies, Russian officials said.

Thirty other people were still missing three days after explosions ripped through the Raspadskaya mine in the city of Mezhdurechensk, about 3,000 km (1,850 miles) east of Moscow.

News agencies have quoted Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying that a sudden burst of methane and coal dust could have caused the blasts.

The disaster was the deadliest in a Russian mine since 110 people were killed by a methane blast at the Ulyanovskaya mine, also in the coal-rich Kemerovo region, in March 2007.