3 missing, 2 hospitalized in Russian mine explosion

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MOSCOW — Three iron ore miners are missing and two others have been hospitalized after an explosion deep underground in Russia's Ural Mountains.

A statement from the regional Interior Ministry says the blast happened early Saturday at a depth of 160 meters (525 feet) in the mine in the town of Kushva, about 1,400 kilometers (900 miles) east of Moscow.

The ministry said 89 miners were at work at the time and 86 of them were evacuated. The condition of the two hospitalized miners was not stated.

Russia's Investigative Committee said a criminal case has been opened on possible violation of safety regulations. The blast reportedly took place as workers were preparing an explosion to dislodge ore.

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