World

11 killed, dozens trapped in Russia coal mine accident

November 25, 2021
Russian state television showed images of rescuers and investigators working at the scene.
Russian state television showed images of rescuers and investigators working at the scene.

MOSCOW — At least 11 people were killed and dozens of others trapped after a blaze in a coal mine in Siberia on Thursday, local authorities said.

An evacuation operation is already underway at the Listvyazhnaya mine and more than 200 people have already been saved, Reuters news agency reported.

There was no official statement on the nature of the accident at the mine, where a methane blast in 2004 had previously killed 13 people, according to Agence France-Presse.

A total of 285 people were in the mine at the time of the incident — 239 of them have been evacuated and 46 other miners are still trapped underground, Kemerovo Governor Sergei Tsivilyov said on his page on the messaging app Telegram.

“Forty-three people have been hospitalized with injuries, four of them in serious condition,” Tsivilyov said.

Local investigators said that smoke spread across the mine at around 8:35 am local time (0135 GMT) on Thursday.

They said that, based on preliminary information, "a number of workers suffered smoke poisoning".

Russian state television showed images of rescuers and investigators working at the scene in snowfall.

Russia's Investigative Committee has launched a criminal probe into the fire on charges of violating safety regulations that led to deaths.

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday extended his condolences to the families of the killed miners and ordered the government to offer all the necessary assistance to those who were injured, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

The Liztvyazhnaya mine was set up in 1956 and is owned by the SDS-Ugol company based in the city of Kemerovo.

As well as the 2004 blast, another explosion at the mine killed five people in 1981, according to Russian media. — Agencies


November 25, 2021
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