Nine of over 30 miners who were trapped in a burning gold mine were found dead early on Friday, Russian news agencies reported citing emergency ministry officials.
The bodies could not yet be lifted above ground for lack of necessary equipment, which is yet en route to the site, officials said.
Rescuers meanwhile were rushed to local hospitals for treatment after "minor carbon monoxide poisoning."
Between 31 and 33 miners were trapped underground after a fire broke out underground at the British-owned coal mine in the Chita region, which borders China and Mongolia.
The fire broke out at 2:15 pm at a depth of 85-130 metres in the gold mine in Vershino-Darasunsky, northeast of the regional capital Chita, the emergency situations ministry said.