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Jailed Russian Miners Released From Site Of Tragic Blast

Residents of Raspadskaya gather to protest unsafe working conditions and low wages for miners.
MEZHDURECHENSK, Russia -- Police today released 28 miners detained during weekend clashes with security forces in a central Russian city that was the site of a deadly mine blast, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The miners were arrested early on May 15 in Mezhdurechensk, Kemerovo Oblast, after skirmishes with security forces in which at least 17 police officers were reportedly injured.

The fighting broke out when local officials tried to disperse dozens of protesters who were demanding a thorough investigation of the two blasts at the Raspadskaya mine on May 9 that cost 66 people their lives. There are still 24 miners missing at the mine and presumed dead.

The protesters also demanded that officials improve their working conditions and raise their wages.

A social commission is scheduled to start work on May 18 to determine and distribute the financial allowances owed to the families of victims of the mine tragedy.