Russia's diamond giant says 16 missing after mine flooded

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Russia's diamond giant says mine flooded with 150 inside

Russia's diamond giant says mine flooded with 150 inside

Moscow (AFP) - Russia's diamond giant Alrosa said that rescuers were searching for 16 miners still unaccounted for after one of its mines in eastern Siberia suffered flooding on Friday with 151 workers inside.

Alrosa, Russia's largest diamond producer, said in a statement that 102 miners have been evacuated and 33 more are set to be raised to the surface while "16 people are being searched for" after water broke through into the mine at around 0730 GMT.

The emergency situations ministry's branch in the Sakha region where the mine named Mir is located said water had flooded one of the mine's pumping stations.

The water leaked out of a flooded disused crater that contained some 300,000 cubic metres of water, the emergency situations ministry said.

It said its mine rescue brigade had "organised communications with 134 miners" and had supplied electricity and was carrying out an evacuation.

Alrosa's chief executive Sergei Ivanov flew to the scene as did the Sakha region's governor Yegor Borisov, who brought additional backup including surgeons and doctors specialising in emergency medicine.

Alrosa, based in the Sakha region, made a net profit of 22.7 billion rubles ($376.37 million) in the first quarter of 2017.

Its Mir underground mine was launched in 2009. Up to 2001, Alrosa used opencast mining at the Mir site, which has been used for diamond production since 1955.