A fire at a coal mine in Russia on Thursday has left 11 people dead, more than 40
injured and almost 50 still trapped.
According to Kemerovo governor Sergei Tsivilyov, 285 people were in the mine at
the time of the fire and 239 of them have been evacuated, but 46 other miners are
still trapped underground.
Emergency services launched a rescue operation this morning in sub-zero
Communication has been lost with the remaining workers, Regional Governor Sergei
Tsivilev said. But there is no longer heavy smoke in the mine which still has
electricity and ventilation, he added.
Mr Tsivilev said: ‘For now there is no heavy smoke, so we hope that there is no fire.
‘We have no communication lines with these people, the underground
communications system is not working.’
The regional branch of Russia’s Investigative Committee is probing the tragedy.
An earlier statement said: ‘According to preliminary data, a number of workers
suffered from smoke poisoning. The number of victims is being specified.’
Listvyazhnaya is part of SDS-Ugol, one of Russia’s biggest coal mining companies.
Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, gave his condolences to the families of the miners
on Thursday. He ordered the government to assist those injured, his spokesman
said.Coal mine safety has been an issue in Russia for a number of years, 36 miners
were killed following coal mine explosions in Russia’s far north, in 2016.
After this incident, Russian authorities assessed the safety of the country’s 58 coal
mines and 20 of Russia’s mines – 34% – were then declared potentially unsafe.
The Listvyazhnaya mine wasn’t judged to be unsafe in this assessment, according to
The mine was inspected most recently on November 19, Interfax reported. The
results of last week’s inspection weren’t disclosed. According to Tass, the mine was
inspected in April, with 139 different violations recorded, which included breaches
of fire safety regulations.