At least 51 people, including several rescue workers, have died following a suspected methane-gas explosion at a Siberian coal mine on Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Most of the approximate 285 people working in the Listvazhnaya mine were able to evacuate, but some were trapped in a distant underground area, per NBC News. One surviving rescue worker was discovered Friday after being presumed dead, but no other survivors are expected to be found due to high levels of methane and carbon monoxide in the mine, per The Associated Press.
Work at this mine reportedly had been repeatedly suspended over safety issues, and the Russian Investigative Committee in the Kemerovo region has announced it will conduct a criminal investigation.
According to a spokesperson for Rostekhnadzor, Russia's technology and ecology watchdog, over 900 regulations violations were found at this same mine over the course of 127 inspections this year, The Washington Post reports.
Per Russian safety rules, miners are supposed to stop working should methane concentrations get too high; however, that's apparently seldom the case, per the Post. Miners are also not paid when they have to halt work due to high methane levels.
"Every time, you think about what will happen if you run out of oxygen. You will go down, and it will end," said one miner to Siberian media, per the Post. "I say this and laugh now. Do you know why? Because do you know how scary it really is?"