Three people were killed Friday in a gas explosion at a mine in the Russian region of Siberia, prosecutors said.
"During operations, there was a sudden release of gas, which resulted in three people being buried under rubble," the Kemerovo region prosecutor's office said.
They said in a statement said that 44 people were working in the mine at the time of the blast and all but three were brought to the surface shortly afterwards.
They said an investigation into the incident has been opened.
The local branch of the Investigative Committee, which probes serious crimes, said later that the bodies of three people had been recovered.
Mining accidents in Russia and former Soviet countries are relatively common due to aging infrastructure and poor enforcement of safety regulations.
The mine where the explosion took place was located near the city of Leninsk-Kuznetskiy and began operations in 2017.
The deadliest accident in recent years left 91 dead in a mine in the Kemerovo region in May 2010.