At least 15 dead after dam collapse in Siberia

At least 15 people have died after a dam at a small Siberian gold mine collapsed and water flooded two workers' dormitories yesterday.

The Emergencies Ministry said seven people were also unaccounted for, Russian news reports said. The regional health ministry said 16 people were injured.

The dam had not been registered or approved for use by Rostechnadzor, Russia's agency for technological and ecological oversight, the Interfax news agency cited the agency as saying.

The collapse during heavy rain occurred around 6 am (local time) near the village of Shchetinkino in the Krasnoyarsk region about 3,400 kilometres east of Moscow.

The country's Investigative Committee said it has opened a criminal investigation on possible charges of violation of workplace safety regulations.

Rescue workers suspended their search for survivors after nightfall but were to resume today. About 80 people were believed to be living in the dormitories.

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Helicopters, rescuers and rescue dogs scoured the area to search for survivors.