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Death and destruction follow a Siberian coal mine fire

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Coal mine fire kills 52A devastating fire swept through a Siberian coal mine Thursday, killing 52 miners and rescuers about 250 meters (820 feet) underground, Russian news reports said.

Hours after a methane gas explosion and fire filled the mine with toxic fumes, rescuers found 14 bodies but then were forced to halt the search for 38 others because of a buildup of methane and a high concentration of carbon monoxide fumes from the fire.

The state Tass and RIA-Novosti news agencies cited emergency officials as saying that there was no chance of finding any survivors.

The Interfax news agency cited a representative of the regional administration who also put the death toll from Thursday's fire at 52, saying they died of carbon monoxide poisoning.


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