9 February 2005 -- An explosion swept through a mine in the coal-rich Kuzbass region of Siberia today, killing at least 21 workers.
The blast occurred at the 20-year-old Yesaulskaya mine in Kemerovo Oblast, about 3,000 kilometers east of Moscow, as mine workers were trying to prevent a fire from spreading.
Four miners were hospitalized with injuries but their lives were out of danger.
Sergei Vlasov, a spokesman for of the Emergency Situations Ministry in Moscow, said 21 miners were confirmed dead and four were unaccounted for.
The Kemerovo government declared 11 February a day of mourning for the dead miners. Their families were each to be given $25,000-$28,000 by the regional government as compensation for their loss.