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Timeline: Russia’s Worst Mining Disasters

Relatives of miners at the Listvyazhnaya mine, Kemerovo region. Maxim Kiselev / TASS

At least 50 miners and rescuers died Thursday after smoke filled a coal mine in Siberia, the latest in a string of disasters to hit Russia's mining industry in recent decades.

Though dozens of those still trapped inside were believed to have perished, authorities said one survivor was recovered from the site early Friday. Several of the mine's managers have been detained for suspected safety violations.

Here's a look at the other deadly mining incidents, most of them in the Kemerovo mining region, also known as Kuzbass, that have taken place in Russia’s post-Soviet history:

March 2007

Kuzbass was hit by Russia’s worst mining disaster in living memory on March 19, 2007, when at least 108 miners died in a methane explosion and fire at the Ulyanovskaya mine. 

Investigators found signs of tampering with safety equipment designed to prevent miners from working in unsafe conditions, a safety watchdog said at the time.

May 2007

Shortly after the Ulyanovskaya mine disaster, at least 38 people were killed in a methane explosion in Kemerovo’s Yubileynaya mine on May 24, 2007.

Investigators said a damaged cable spark had triggered an explosion at the mine. 

May 2010

On May 8, 2010, an explosion ripped through the Raspadskaya mine in the Kemerovo region that took the lives of 91 men. 

The cause: miners laid a wet cloth over sensors, hampering their ability to monitor the level of explosive methane gas.

February 2016

Outside Kemerovo, at least 36 miners and rescuers were killed in a series of explosions at the Severnaya coal mine inside the Arctic Circle on Feb. 25, 2016, north of the city of Vorkuta in the republic of Komi.

Leaking methane gas was also believed to have caused this week’s incident, which is Russia’s fifth-deadliest mining disaster in the 21st century. 

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