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Rising Water Levels Hamper Rescue Efforts At Russian Diamond Mine

Rescue workers at the Mir mine on August 4
Rescue workers at the Mir mine on August 4

Rising water levels are hampering rescue efforts as emergency workers at one of Russia's largest diamond mines continued their frantic search for eight miners still missing in an underground shaft.

"The water level is continuing to rise in the Mir mine where rescuers have been searching for eight workers for six days," the Emergency Situations Ministry said on August 10, warning that the tunnels are "gradually filling up" with water.

A water cavern collapsed into an underground shaft with 142 workers inside at the Mir mine in the Sakha region early on August 4. So far, 134 workers have been safely evacuated from the site, according to Alrosa, Russia's largest diamond producer.

The rising water levels in the crater are hindering the safety of rescue operations, Alrosa said, adding it is now trying to drop in large objects to block water from filling passageways in the mine.

No casualties have been reported so far in the accident at the mine, located some 4,160 kilometers east of Moscow.

The Mir mine was launched in 2009 and produces 1 million tons of diamond ore per year. Last year, the diamonds it produced totaled 3.19 million carats, according to the company's website.

With reporting by AFP, TASS, and Interfax