The blast in a shaft of the coal mine occurred at 0630 hrs Moscow time. A spokesman for Kazakhstan's Karaganda regional emergencies centre told Itar-Tass news agency that at the time of the explosion, there were 195 people in the mine in Karaganda. Latest reports said 160 people had been rescued.
More than 20 miners were reported missing. The rescue operations involve eight teams. The deadly accident at coal enterprises of Indian billionaire Lakshmi Mittal in Kazakhstan is not the first. A methane explosion in the Lenin company of Mittal Steel Temirtau in September, 2006, left 41 people dead.