Russia: Rescue mission of 13 trapped gold miners called off

The rescue operation for 13 miners trapped in a collapsed gold mine in Russia has been called off.

They were stranded 125m (400ft) down when part of the structure in the Zeysk district of Amur, in the far east of the country, collapsed on 18 March.

Around 200 rescuers had been trying to pump out water that flooded the Pioneer mine, but on Monday the mission was terminated and the miners declared dead.

The mine operator and authorities said it was too dangerous for rescuers as the mine was still flooded and more sections could collapse.

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It's unclear what caused the accident but safety violations have been blamed for similar incidents in the past.

The mining company said it would pay compensation to the victims' families.