Bodies of nine workers found after fire erupts in potash mine
Rescue teams yesterday found the bodies of nine construction workers who had been trapped inside a burning potash mine in Russia's Ural Mountains.
A fire erupted on Saturday at the mine operated by the fertiliser company Uralkali in the Perm region, where two teams of workers were doing maintenance work.
Uralkali said the mine had shut down its operations for the maintenance.
Officials said 17 construction workers were inside the mine in Solikamsk, which is 1,200km east of Moscow, when the fire broke out and eight of them were quickly evacuated. The blaze cut off access to nine other workers who were in a different section.
Russian news agencies quoted the rescue operations headquarters as saying all nine bodies had been found after an hours-long operation and they were now being recovered. The firefighters were still putting out the blaze.
The Perm region declared today a day of mourning for the workers.
Russian President Vladimir Putin urged regional authorities and investigators to conduct a thorough probe.