Of 13 miners trapped in a flooded Russian mine in Novoshakhtinsk for five days, 11 have been found alive, one is dead and one is unaccounted for.

   

"Twelve have been located, but one of them is dead, while one is still missing," said Kirill Zhitenyov, a local administration official.

 

In all, 46 miners had been trapped up to 800m below ground since Thursday evening when an underground lake burst into their shaft, flooding the mine and cutting off the miners' communications and air supply.

   

On Saturday, 33 were rescued and emergency workers had been digging what they dubbed a "tunnel of hope" to reach the remainder.

 

Five killed

 

Even as the rescue efforts succeeded, in another Russian mine in the far-eastern region of Primorye, five men were killed by a powerful underground explosion.

 

The blast was believed to have been caused by methane gas.

  

Of 71 people known to be working in the Tsentralnaya mine in the town of Partizansk at the time of the blast, five were found dead and five others were in a serious condition, an emergencies ministry spokesman said in Moscow on Wednesday.

  

Fifteen managed to scramble out on their own in the aftermath of the blast, and it took rescuers several hours to lift out the remaining 56, including five dead.

  

The injured miners were taken to a local hospital with severe burns and wounds, Partizansk's health chief Galina Pautova said.

  

The blast was apparently due to methane that had accumulated about 750m below ground, the second such incident since 1996 in one of the region's deepest mines.