Death Toll at Russian Mine Reaches 66

The ITAR-TASS News Agency reports six bodies were found in the most remote section of the Raspadskaya coal mine in Siberia, where two methane explosions occurred last weekend, and the search continues for 24 still missing.

The death toll from two methane explosions at the Raspadskaya coal mine has reached 66, the ITAR-TASS News Agency reported Thursday, and searchers continue to look for 24 miners still missing, although the mine's ventilation system has not been completely restored.

Those killed include 18 rescuers who died Sunday from the second explosion after they had entered the Siberian mine to search for miners trapped by the first blast.

Nearly 300 miners escaped, and about 500 people were initially involved in rescue efforts, with Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin -- who visited the site on Tuesday -- and President Dmitry Medvedev monitoring the situation.

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