Eighteen miners feared trapped after Russian pit blast

MOSCOW Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:41am EST

MOSCOW Feb 11 (Reuters) - Eighteen miners were feared trapped under rubble after an explosion on Monday in a coal mine in the Komi region of northern Russia, the Emergencies Ministry said.

The blast at 10:28 a.m. local time (0628 GMT) caused the mine to collapse on a team of 22 people, four of whom escaped, the ministry said in a statement. Paramilitary rescue units were working to free the remaining victims.

The mine belongs to a division of Severstal, one of Russia's largest steel producers.