At least 16 die in Komi mine accident - tentative data of Interior Ministry

A mine explosion in the Vorkutinskaya coal mine in the Republic of Komi killed at least 16 on Monday, according to tentative data of the Interior Ministry.

Over 200 coalminers have made their way out after the explosion, a source in law enforcement in the Republic of Komi told Interfax.

President Vladimir Putin has bound Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov to fly to the scene of the accident at the Vorkutinskaya mine in the Republic of Komi, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"Following the accident at the Vorkutinskaya mine, the Russian president bound the minister for emergency situations to travel to the scene, to take prompt measures to clarify the fate of the missing and to arrange assistance to the victims and the families of the deceased," Peskov said.

A criminal case has been opened over the Komi Vorkutinskaya mine explosion, Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Interfax.

"The case was opened under Article 216 of the Russian Criminal Code \'Breach of Safety Rules in Mining, Construction or Other Works,'" he said.

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