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Death Toll In Russian Mining Accident Rises

Osinniki, Russia, 12 April 2004 (RFE/RL) -- The death toll from a coal mine accident in Siberia has risen to 44.

Rescue teams have found five more bodies at the Taizhina coal mine in the Kemerovo region, some 3,000 kilometers east of Moscow. Rescuers are still searching for one missing miner.

The accident was caused by an explosion of methane gas on 10 April, which set off a fire 500 meters underground.

Russia's coal mines are notorious for the many accidents that occur each year.