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Russian gold miners declared dead as rescue effort called off

The company that operates the mine, one of Russia’s largest, said it would pay compensation to victims’ families.

The mine rescue effort has been called off (Russia Emergency Situations Ministry press service via AP)
Russia Mine Accident The mine rescue effort has been called off (Russia Emergency Situations Ministry press service via AP) (AP)

A rescue effort for 13 workers trapped deep underground in a collapsed gold mine in Russia’s Far East has been called off – and the men have been declared dead.

The miners got trapped on March 18 at a depth of about 125m (400ft) when part of the mine collapsed in the Zeysk district of the Amur region, about 3,000 miles east of Moscow.

About 200 rescuers used powerful pumps to try to take out water that flooded the mine, posing a challenge to the salvage operation.

Rescuers walk inside the gold mine (Russia Emergency Situations Ministry press service via AP)
Russia Mine Accident Rescuers walk inside the gold mine (Russia Emergency Situations Ministry press service via AP) (AP)

Regional authorities and the mine operator announced the termination of rescue efforts on Monday, saying that the mine remained flooded and more of its sections could collapse, jeopardising emergency services personnel.

The company that operates the mine, one of Russia’s largest, said it would pay compensation to victims’ families.

Officials have not said what caused the accident. Most mining accidents in the past have been blamed on violations of safety rules.