Feb 11 2013, 5:08am CST | by Luigi Lugmayr
"According to preliminary data, methane gas caused the explosion at the Vorkutinskaya mine around 10.28 a.m. Moscow time," regional emergencies ministry's spokesman Alexander Sin told reporters.
Twenty-six miners were working in the section of the mine where the blast took place, of whom seven are missing. A total of 259 people were working at the mine at that time, Sin said.
Mine safety conditions in Russia have often been a cause for concern. In 2010, 91 workers died in twin methane gas explosions at a mine owned by the Raspadskaya company in the country's eastern Kemerovo region.
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