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Missing Russian Miners Legally Presumed Dead

Smoke pours forth from explosions at Russia's Raspadskaya mine in Kemerovo Region in May.
KEMEROVO, Russia -- A court in the central Siberian city of Kemerovo has ruled that 15 miners missing since a double explosion at a mine in May are legally presumed dead, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Two massive methane gas explosions hit the Raspadskaya coal mine, Russia's largest, in early May.

Seventy-five bodies have been recovered, the most recent on December 2. Fifteen miners are still missing.

The Raspadskaya mine's press service informed journalists today that all the missing miners will be legally presumed dead as of December 14. Their relatives will then be eligible to officially inherit their property and submit compensation claims to insurance companies, pension funds, and the mine officials.

Kemerovo Oblast governor Aman Tuleyev said that the search for the bodies of the missing miners will continue until the last body is found and retrieved for burial.

Read in Russian here.