“According to preliminary information, no one survived in the mine. 52 people were killed,” the official TASS news agency quoted the source as saying.
This outcome was reported by RIA Novosti and Interfax news agencies, noting that the dead were distributed among 46 workers and 6 paramedics.
An initial toll announced by the authorities earlier stated that 14 people were killed in the accident, including 11 workers and three paramedics.
About 40 other miners who were in the mine when the accident occurred, were taken to hospital, AFP reported.
According to the district governor’s office, 285 were in the mine at the time of the fire, the causes of which are not yet clear.
The accident occurred on Thursday morning at the Listvyainaya mine in the city of Gramotino in the Kemerevo region, where many Siberian coal mines are concentrated.
The governor’s office said ambulance teams rescued the vast majority of those 285 people who were inside the mine, but 46 miners were stuck underground and several rescue teams tried to reach them.
On Thursday afternoon, contact with one of the six rescue teams was lost, and the authorities soon decided to suspend rescue operations for fear of an explosion.
The Russian Investigative Committee, which handles key cases in the country, announced that it had opened an investigation for “violating safety standards” at the mine.
On Thursday evening, the committee announced the arrest of the mine director, his deputy, and the person responsible for the area where the accident occurred.