Authorities say a sudden methane gas leak in a coal mine in central Kazakhstan has killed three miners.
The director of the Qazaqstan mine in the town of Shakhtinsk in Qaraghandy Region, Aleksandr Zabelin, told reporters that the three miners died of gas poisoning following the leak on August 31.
He identified them as Maksim Shebanov, 31, Rustam Akhmetzhanov, 34, and Valery Rudenko, 37. Their bodies have been recovered.
The rest of the 133 miners who were in the mine when the gas leak occurred made it to the surface, but three of them were hospitalized with gas poisoning.
The gas leak was reported early in the morning on August 31.
The regional police department said the authorities have opened an investigation into the possible work safety violations.