Russia Locks 5 People Up Over Coal Mine Disaster That Kills 51 – Boston News, Weather, Sports


MOSCOW (AP) – A Russian court ordered on Saturday that five people must remain in custody for two months until an investigation into a devastating explosion in a coal mine in Siberia is carried out, in which dozen people were killed.

Russian authorities reported 51 dead Thursday after a methane explosion rocked the Listvyazhnaya mine in the Kemerovo region of southwest Siberia – 46 miners and five rescuers. The tragedy appears to be the deadliest in Russia since 2010.

The Central District Court of the city of Kemerovo decided to detain the director of the Listvyazhnaya mine, Sergei Makhrakov, his deputy Andrei Molostvow and the department head Sergei Gerasimenok. They are accused of violating health and safety regulations for hazardous production facilities, which resulted in multiple deaths. If convicted, they face up to seven years in prison.

Two officials from the local branch of Rostekhnadzor, Russia’s state watchdog for technology and ecology – Sergei Vinokurov and Vyacheslav Semykin – were also sentenced to two months in prison for negligence that resulted in two or more deaths, with up to seven years in prison as.

Law enforcement officials said Friday that miners had complained about the high methane levels in the mine. Russia’s leading independent news website Meduza reported that authorities suspended certain sections of the mine nine times this year and fined more than 4 million rubles (approximately $ 53,000) for security breaches.

A total of 285 miners were in the Listvyazhnaya mine on Thursday morning at the time of the explosion, which quickly filled the mine with toxic smoke. A total of 239 people were rescued shortly after the explosion, and more than 60 sought medical attention because of a number of injuries.

Officials said Thursday that 11 miners and three rescuers were killed while searching for others in a remote section of the mine. 35 miners were still trapped in the mine when rescuers had to suspend their search for several hours because of an accumulation of methane and carbon monoxide gas.

Three other rescuers were missing and were possibly dead by Thursday along with the trapped miners. However, on Friday morning search teams found a rescuer in the mine who was still alive and conscious. He has suffered shock and moderately severe carbon monoxide poisoning and is being treated in a hospital.

Officials called his rescue a “miracle” and said it was very unlikely to find any other survivors at this point.

The governor of Kemerovo, Sergei Tsivilev, announced on Saturday that the search would be resumed, saying that “we must lift all of us (to the surface)”. However, he noted that rescue teams must act “carefully”.

“We do not have the right to lose a single person more,” wrote Tsivilyov on the Telegram messaging app.

Search teams found the bodies of five miners later on Saturday.

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