Russia's diamond giant says mine flooded with 150 inside

Moscow (AFP) –


Russia's diamond giant Alrosa said Friday that one of its mines in eastern Siberia has suffered flooding with around 150 miners inside.

Alrosa, Russia's largest diamond producer, said in a statement on its website that water had broken through into the mine at around 4:30 pm (0730 GMT), while there were "more than 100 people" inside.

The company later increased the figure to 148 in statements to Russian news wires.

It said a rescue operation was underway and Alrosa's chief executive Sergei Ivanov had flown to the scene.

The emergency situations ministry's branch in the Sakha region where the mine named Mir is located said in a statement that there were 151 people inside. It said groundwater had flooded one of the mine's pumping stations.

"At the moment the Sakha's mine rescue brigade is carrying out operations to evacuate the workers," the ministry said.

A spokesman for the local emergency situations ministry told AFP that "currently people are being evacuated from the mine. At the moment of the accident there were 150 people inside. There are no casualties."