At least 52 people have lost their lives this Thursday in Russia in a fire that occurred in a mine. Six of the deceased are rescuers who worked at the site. It is one of the most serious mining accidents since Soviet times.
The fire was caused by a gas leak, according to information published by the local press. Three people, including the director of the place, have been arrested accused of having violated security regulations. The miners suffocated after a ventilation shaft filled with gas.
It is not the first time that an accident of this seriousness has occurred in the area. In fact, the Kemerovo region, located 3,500 kilometers east of the city of Moscow, has been the star of deadly mining accidents for years.
Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed hope that the maximum number of people trapped in a coal mine in the Kemerovo region (Western Siberia), where at least 52 miners died in an accident on Thursday, could be saved.
“Unfortunately, the situation is not getting any easier. And there is danger to the lives of the rescuers. The necessary decisions are being made on the ground. Hopefully we can save as many people as possible,” Putin said in a meeting with his Serbian counterpart. , Aleksandar Vucic.
The search and rescue tasks had to be suspended due to the danger of an explosion in the mine due to the concentration of methane and carbon dioxide, according to statements by the Russian Minister of Energy, Nikolai Shulginov, collected by the Interfax agency. He also said that a commission will be created to investigate the causes and circumstances of the tragedy, which occurred at 08.51 local time (01.51 GMT) at the “Listviázhnaya” coal mine, when a “smoke” occurred at a depth of 250 meters. .
Three days of mourning have been declared for the tragedy. “The circumstances of the event will be thoroughly investigated. All those affected by this tragedy will receive the necessary medical, psychological and other assistance,” said Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.
A task force made up of civil servants and psychologists, first responders and medical personnel immediately flew to Kemerovo together with the acting Russian Minister of Emergencies, Alexander Chupriyán. The owner of the mine told the TASS agency that it will pay the families of the victims 2 million rubles ($ 27,000) in compensation in addition to the corresponding payments by law.
The Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision (Rostekhnadzor), told Interfax that the mine underwent the last safety checks on the 19th, but not in the place where the accident occurred. The last serious accident on this farm, which began operations in 1956 under the name “Gramoteinskaya 1-2” and which has since been rebuilt and modernized, occurred in 2004, when an explosion caused the death of thirteen workers.