Russia mine explosion kills nine, eight feared trapped

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February 11, 2013 8:42 PM EST

An explosion at a Russian coal mine on Monday killed nine people and eight more were feared trapped under rubble at the pit in the northern Komi region, the Interior Ministry said.

The Emergencies Ministry had said earlier on Monday that nine miners were feared trapped and that at least eight had been saved.

The blast, at a mine owned by a division of one of Russia's largest steel producers, Severstal, was caused by a build-up of methane gas, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

(Reporting by Thomas Grove, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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