Russian media reports emergency officials saying 52 miners and rescuers have died in the Listvyazhnaya mine

Rescuers at Listvyazhnaya coalmine on Thursday.
Rescuers at Listvyazhnaya coalmine on Thursday. Photograph: Kemerovo region government press/AFP/Getty Images

A devastating explosion in a Siberian coalmine on Thursday left 52 miners and rescuers dead about 250 meters (820ft) underground, Russian officials have said.

Hours after a methane gas explosion and fire filled the mine with toxic fumes, rescuers found 14 bodies but then were forced to halt the search for 38 others because of a buildup of methane and carbon monoxide gas from the fire. A total of 239 people were rescued.

The state Tass and RIA-Novosti news agencies cited emergency officials as saying that there was no chance of finding any more survivors in the Listvyazhnaya mine, in the Kemerovo region of south-western Siberia.

The Interfax news agency cited a representative of the regional administration who also put the death toll at 52, saying they died of carbon monoxide poisoning.