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At least 52 killed in Russian coal mine accident

U.S.A.At least 52 killed in Russian coal mine accident

Members of the Russian emergency services take part in a rescue operation following a fire at the Listvyaznaya coal mine in the Kemerovo region, Russia, on November 25, 2021. Government of the Kemerovo Region / Brochure via REUTERS

at least 52 people died this Thursday and dozens are missing, after the accident in a coal mine Siberia Which has been added to the frightening list of disasters affecting the region in Russia.

According to the governor of the Kemerovo region, Sergei Sielev, Listvyazhnaya mine at the time of the accident had 285 people, in the Siberian region of Kemerovo, in the town of Gramotino, where several coal mines are located. For now, it is confirmed that 11 of them died and some 46 miners are still inside the mine, “Without any communication with them”,

“There is no strong smoke, so we hope there is no fire”The person in charge said, explaining that the ventilation systems of the mine were still working.

In the rescue work, 19 teams of rescuers are taking part, informed Kemerovo Governor Sergei Civiliyov, who insisted that “all resources available to the region” are being used.

A Russian Emergency Ministry truck leaves the area during a rescue operation following a fire at the Listvyaznaya coal mine in the Kemerovo region, Russia, on November 25, 2021.  Reuters / Alexander Patrin
A Russian Emergency Ministry truck leaves the area during a rescue operation following a fire at the Listvyaznaya coal mine in the Kemerovo region, Russia, on November 25, 2021. Reuters / Alexander Patrin

The Russian emergency ministry had previously reported that 237 miners could be evacuated and that at least 45 people were injured. Apparently many of the miners were “intoxicated by the highly toxic fumes.” According to doctors, 43 of the evacuated workers were shifted to a hospital, of whom two are in critical condition.

Kemerovo officials specified that the incident occurred at 08.51 local time (01.51 GMT), when “smoke” occurred at a depth of 250 metres. According to sources in the mine administration cited by the Interfax agency, the smoke was generated from the fire caused by an explosion in the ventilation system.

Russian public television showed rescue teams and police working at the scene in the snow.

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“Rescue Services Ongoing” And the exact location of the missing miners is “not known,” according to the Russian emergency ministry.

A still image taken from video shows investigators and rescuers during a rescue operation after a fire at the Listvyaznaya coal mine in the Kemerovo region of Russia on November 25, 2021.  Brochure via Russian Investigative Committee / Reuters
A still image taken from video shows investigators and rescuers during a rescue operation after a fire at the Listvyaznaya coal mine in the Kemerovo region of Russia on November 25, 2021. Brochure via Russian Investigative Committee / Reuters

long list of accidents

An investigation has been opened for “violation of security rules”.

The mine, which began operations in 1956, recorded an accident in October 2004, when a methane explosion killed 13 people. In 1981, another explosion killed five people, According to Russian media.

Accidents in mines in Russia, as in other parts of the former Soviet Union, are often related to a lack of respect for safety regulations, poor management or deterioration of facilities.

The deadliest accident in recent years killed 91 people and injured more than 100 at the Raspadskaya mine in May 2010, Also in the Kemerovo region, where there are many coal mines.

Russian Emergencies Ministry experts carry a tent during a rescue operation after a fire at the Listvyaznaya coal mine in the Kemerovo region of Russia, November 25, 2021.  Reuters / Alexander Patrin
Russian Emergencies Ministry experts carry a tent during a rescue operation after a fire at the Listvyaznaya coal mine in the Kemerovo region of Russia, November 25, 2021. Reuters / Alexander Patrin

More recently, in October 2019, an accident at the dam of an illegal gold mine in Siberia recorded 17 deaths. In August 2017, eight miners disappeared after flooding a diamond mine in Siberia operated by the Russian conglomerate Alrosa, the world‘s leading producer.

After three weeks of searching for the missing, the company suspended rescue operations.

In addition to the often tragic human losses, some of the accidents also shed light on the practices of the Russian mining industry, which prioritize exploitation over environmental issues.

(With information from AFP and EFE)

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