At least 11 dead in Russian mining accident

At least 11 miners have died in an accident at a coal mine in Siberia on Thursday (November 25).

Local authorities and emergency services said an operation to rescue dozens more people underground was suspended due to the risk of an explosion.

TASS news agency reported that coal dust caught fire in a ventilation shaft in a mine more than 2,000 miles east of Moscow early Thursday (November 25).

Dozens were being treated in hospital, a number with smoke poisoning.

Rescue workers and ambulances could be seen arriving at the mine's compound, with police huddled outside in the snowy conditions.

Regional governor Sergei Tsivilev said there were communications issues with those still trapped.

"There is no major smoke there, so let's hope there is no fire. But we have no contact with those people, the communication system doesn't work, but the electricity is working properly, the ventilation is working, the air is being pumped."

The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin had ordered the emergencies minister to fly out to the region to help with the operation.

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