Local authorities on Friday confirmed that 52 coal miners and rescue operatives were killed in an explosion at the Siberian Mine. Attempts to rescue were also not much to avail, as high levels of methane gas fumed out, making any expeditions lethal.
The coal mine located in Belovo and popularly known as Listvazhanya coal mine in the South of Siberia has been operational since 1956. During the pandemic, it has been often the center of outrage, due to improper working conditions, and non-adherence to fire and safety regulations.
Following this, they were forced to close down almost 10 times and very heavily fined. Even after that, they continued working and as a result, 6 rescuers and 46 people working in the mines lost their lives on Thursday.
The Governor shared the news and expressed remorse, at the same time the criminal case has been registered against the director of the mine, his deputy, and an employee who is allegedly responsible for the negligent mishap.
Andrey Vil, spokesman for Rostekhnadzor, the country’s technology, and ecology watchdog, said “The organization had found more than 900 violations of regulations in the course of 127 inspections at the mine this year” as reported.
This just adds to the pile of news that Russia has been drawing attention to, in terms of its lax attitude towards safety and proper facilities at coal mines. Even while they were on the verge of closure, as announced by the Russian Authorities, it was halted and restarted due to the scarcity of coal and fossil fuels it would cause.
While the explosion took place in the wee hours, where roughly 285 miners were expected to be working on the site, 239 were rescued after the explosion. Leaving the rest of them trapped, who then succumbed to death.
Ironically the last inspection had taken place just a day before the incident. Also in one of the inspections which took place in early April this year, over 139 areas of concern were cited as violations.
Russia along with U.S., India, and China are some of the countries who did not sign the pledge to do away with coal mining at the COP-26 conference that recently took place. As the pressure of climate change intensifies, the battle with coal mines and working conditions raises more eyebrows.