(AP) A blast at a coal mine in northern Russia on Monday left 10 people dead and seven missing, Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry said.
Nearly 300 rescuers are searching for the missing men at the Vorkutinskaya mine in the Komi region, the ministry said in a statement. The blast occurred in the mining area because of a build-up of methane, emergency ministry officials said.
Pyotr Lomakov, a local spokesman for the ministry, told the Rossiya 24 television channel that 23 men were in the mine at the time of the blast. Four of them were able to get out of the mine on their own and two were rescued.
Deadly accidents at coal mines are frequent in Russia because of negligence and lax safety regulations. In January alone, nine people died in two separate mine accidents in Russia.