3 Killed in Evraz Coal Mining Accident

Three miners died Sunday in an accident at a Siberian coal mine owned by Evraz Group, the country's largest steelmaker by domestic volume, the company and the Emergency Situations Ministry said.

The accident occurred at around 8:45 a.m. local time at Mine No. 12 in Kiselyovsk, in the Kemerovo region, the ministry said. An investigation is under way to establish the cause.

Officials could not say whether production would be affected.

"There was an accident. Three people died," a ministry spokesman said. "Over 70 people were inside the mine at the time of the accident. All the rest have been moved out to the surface."

The ministry official said there had been "a breach of the technological process with methane involved," but he did not confirm an explosion.

"An investigation is being carried out to find out the reasons."

A spokesman for Evraz confirmed that three miners had died in an accident at the mine.

Evraz acquired full ownership of the mine in March 2005. Mine No. 12 produced 893,000 tons of coal in 2007, including over 667,000 tons of coking coal used in the steel industry, Evraz said on its web site.