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Russia: More than 50 people reported dead in Siberian coal mine accident

Gramoteino, Russia: More than 50 people have been reported dead on Thursday after a Siberian coal mine was flooded with smoke and rescue operations ended in tragedy.
Senior managers of mines in the Kemerovo region of Russia were detained on suspicion of safety breaches after a recent fatal accident that struck Russia’s vast mining industry.
A Russian news agency reported that local officials said 52 people had died, including a miner and six rescuers who were part of a suspended search operation.
“No one has survived in the mine, according to preliminary information,” state news agency TASS said according to local paramedics sources.
The Listvyazhnaya mine, near the town of Belovo in the Kemerovo mine area, was filled with smoke early Thursday and had 285 people inside.
Most were able to evacuate, but officials said 35 miners were unexplained.
It was not immediately clear what caused the accident, but some Russian media reported that dust in the ventilation towers had ignited and the mines were filled with smoke.
News agency RIA Novosti said the prosecutor said the spark could have caused the methane explosion.
Search and rescue operations began, but were suspended hours after authorities warned of the threat of an explosion.
There were reports of a lack of oxygen in the rescuers, and the news agency said six bodies were found.
Interfax, a private news agency, said local officials had suffocated.
A Russian investigative commission investigating a major case has launched a criminal investigation, saying three people have been detained, including a 47-year-old mine chief and a 59-year-old first lieutenant.
“During the initial investigation, it was proved that the detainees violated industrial safety requirements,” the Commission said in a statement.
Nearly 40 people were hospitalized, according to local authorities.
The governor has declared a three-day memorial period in the area starting Friday.
Earlier that day, residents of the village of Gramoteno, next to the mine, gathered in snowfall and sub-zero temperatures outside the entrance to the facility, which was closed by a boom gate, as ambulances entered and exited.
There was no panic, but the crowd was nervous and refused to talk to the journalists.
“This is a big tragedy,” President Vladimir Putin said in a meeting with Serbian leader Alexander Vucci in Sochi.
The Listvyazhnaya mine was founded in 1956 and is owned by SDS-Ugol, based in the city of Kemerovo.
The 2004 methane explosion killed 13 people in the mine, and in 1981 another explosion at the site killed five.
Mining accidents are fairly common throughout Russia and the former Soviet Union as a result of low safety standards, lack of monitoring of working conditions, and aging equipment during the Soviet era.
One of Russia’s most deadly mining accidents in recent years occurred in the summer of 2010 at the Ruspadoskaya mine in Siberia, Russia’s largest coal mine, killing 91 people and injuring more than 100.
The incident was the result of a methane explosion when more than 300 miners were inside. Then, in the second explosion, a group of rescuers was trapped.
In 2007, a gas explosion occurred at the Ulyanovskaya mine in the same area, killing 110 people.
In addition to the fatal accident, activists are paying attention to the environmental practices of Russia’s mines, one of the world’s largest producers of minerals.



Russia: More than 50 people reported dead in Siberian coal mine accident

Source link Russia: More than 50 people reported dead in Siberian coal mine accident

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