| GEO World|
| Siberia mine blast toll rises to 60: report|
| Updated at: 1147 PST, Wednesday, May 12, 2010|
MOSCOW: The death toll following twin gas blasts in Russia's biggest underground coal mine has risen to 60, an official said Wednesday, amid fading hopes for the 30 still trapped underground.
"Rescue workers have found eight other bodies today. The death toll has risen to 60," a spokesman for the emergency situations ministry said.
"Thirty others are still missing," he added.
The two blasts at the Raspadskaya pit on Saturday trapped dozens of miners and rescue workers.
The mine has more than 400 kilometres (250 miles) of tunnels, a bigger network than the entire Moscow metro, according to Vladimir Goryachkin, the deputy general director of Raspadskaya's owner.
Raspadskaya has commercial links with Chelsea Football Club's billionaire chief Roman Abramovich.
Deadly mine accidents are relatively common in Russia because of ageing infrastructure, violations of ventilation safety requirements and tampering with gas-level monitoring equipment.
Russia has been blighted in the past few years by fatal incidents at key facilities, most notably a flood at Russia's largest hydroelectric plant in August that killed 75 people.