Rescuer who descended into Russian mine appears to have survived disaster

A rescue worker who was thought to be dead survived the disaster yesterday in a coal mine near the Siberian city of Kemerovo. Aleksandr Zakovrjasjin, a 51-year-old doctor, was conscious when a new crew of rescuers reached him. He was taken to a hospital with hypothermia and dehydration symptoms and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Zakovryashin was one of six rescuers who descended into the Listvjazhnaya mine to bring out miners who were stuck there. Researchers say miners choked when gas flowed into an air shaft. After the rescuers went down, a methane explosion would have occurred and a fire occurred.

At least 51 people were killed, including five rescuers who went down with Zakovrjasjin. 239 people were rescued. The director of the mine and two other senior officials have been arrested for possibly failing to comply with safety regulations.