Nine workers were feared dead yesterday after a fire in a Russian potash mine in the Urals town of Solikamsk, local officials said.
"Smoke appeared during the construction of a well. Nine workers were in the zone, and there is a reason to believe that these people have died," said a statement issued by an inquiry commission in the Perm region.
Missing workers employed by subcontractor: Mine operating company
The inquiry commission said eight other people who were also underground when smoke appeared were evacuated without injury, while Russian television showed smoke billowing from the mine.
The Russian group Uralkali, a leading potash (common ingredient in fertilizer) producer, operates the mine but said in a statement that the nine missing workers were employed by a subcontractor.
The last Russian mining-accident occurred in 2017.
Last mining accident occurred in Siberian diamond mine in 2017
Before this incident, the last major Russian mining accident occurred in August 2017, when nine workers disappeared during a flood in a Siberian diamond mine. The mine was owned by state-controlled Alrosa, which is the world's largest producer of rough diamonds in carat terms.