MOSCOW (AP) — Russian officials say nine miners are trapped following a fire in a mine in the Perm region near the Ural Mountains.
Officials said the fire erupted when 17 workers were inside the mine in Solikamsk which is located about 1,200 kilometers (some 740 miles) east of Moscow.
Eight were evacuated.
Russian company Uralkali, which owns the mine producing the potassium-rich salt potash, said the trapped workers were employees of a subcontractor doing maintenance work.
The subcontractor's chief, Andrei Maksimov, told the Interfax news agency that the chances of finding the trapped miners alive were slim.
Rescue teams have been unable to reach the area where the workers were located because of heavy smoke.