Russian Mine Rescue Hampered

May 10, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

Rescuers walk near the Raspadskaya mine in the Kemerovo region of southwestern Siberia on May 9. Over 80 miners and rescuers were trapped in a Russian mine Sunday after twin methane gas blasts killed 12 and then ensnared rescue workers who had descended down the shaft to find survivors. (AFP/Getty Images)
Rescuers walk near the Raspadskaya mine in the Kemerovo region of southwestern Siberia on May 9. Over 80 miners and rescuers were trapped in a Russian mine Sunday after twin methane gas blasts killed 12 and then ensnared rescue workers who had descended down the shaft to find survivors. (AFP/Getty Images)
Efforts to rescue 83 people trapped in a mine in Russia's Kemerovo region were stalled due to high concentrations of methane gas inside the mine. Two blasts shook the mine over the weekend as a result of methane buildup. Thus far, 12 people have been confirmed dead.

The first blast occurred late Saturday, and the second came several hours later and trapped an additional 19 rescue workers inside. The explosions were so powerful that they damaged buildings on the ground above the mine.

Officials say the methane must be cleared before they attempt any further rescue efforts, according to the Telegraph.co.uk. Officials are also investigating the possibility of criminal negligence.