At least 11 dead, dozens missing in Siberian mine accident

At least 11 dead, dozens missing in Siberian mine accident
At least 11 dead, dozens missing in Siberian mine accident

At least 11 people were killed and 46 people are still trapped inside a coal mine in Siberia, according to the Russian authorities, in a new disaster in a sector often witnessing similar accidents in Russia.

The governor of the Kemerovo region, where the mine is located, said 285 people were in the mine at the time of the accident, the causes of which were not immediately established.

A statement by the governor, published on the official website of the local government, indicated that at least 11 people were killed and 46 others were missing.

And he said in a video clip posted on the Telegram platform that “communication is cut off” with the missing workers, and no contact has been made with them so far.

The statement stated that the smoke “is not thick, so we hope that there will be no fire,” pointing out that the ventilation devices in the mine are operating normally.

He confirmed that 43 injured people were taken to hospitals, four of whom are in critical condition.

“Rescue operations at the Listvyinaya mine are continuing. 237 people have been rescued,” the Russian Ministry of Emergencies said on the Telegram platform.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said President Vladimir Putin “expresses his deepest condolences” to the families of the victims and hopes “people stuck underground will be rescued.”

The local authorities stated that they received an alert at 8:35 local time (1:35 GMT) that smoke had risen from the Listvyainaya mine in the city of Gramutino in the Kemerevo region, in which the mine is located.

Investigators said that “a number of workers were poisoned by smoke,” based on preliminary information.

The Russian Minister for Emergencies announced that he would travel to Kemerevo on Thursday.

Lax enforcement of safety rules

According to the statement of the local authorities, 19 specialized rescue teams from the ministry are working to try to reach the deepest corridor in the mine, where the missing are likely to be.

The local investigative committee announced that it had launched an investigation into a “violation of safety rules”.

Accidents in Russia’s mines are often related to lax enforcement, poor management, or outdated Soviet-era equipment.

The largest mine accident in Russia in May 2010 killed 91 people and injured more than a hundred people at the Raspadskaya mine in the Kemerovo region, where there are many coal mines.

And in October 2019, the collapse of an illegal dam at a gold mine in Siberia killed 17 people. In the same month, three people died after an accident at the mine of the “Norilsk Nickel” group, the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium, in the Arctic.

In August 2017, eight miners disappeared after a flood at a diamond mine operated by the Alrosa group, which halted search operations three weeks after the start of relief operations.

Some of the incidents call attention to the practices of the Russian mining industry, where exploitation is often done at the expense of the environment.

Some mine accidents in Russia highlight the practices of the Russian mining sector, where investments are made at the expense of the environment.

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