Speaking from Moscow, Al Jazeera's Neave Barker said that the fate of the missing miners was not clear.

"It's not clear if the missing miners are in trouble, but this is not an isolated case. It's not inconceivable that the missing miners are at risk," he said.

In 2007, a blast at the Ulankovskaya coal mine, also in Kemorovo, left more than 100 people dead. In the aftermath of that blast, authorities announced that all surrounding mines would be checked for safety.