Russia: Death toll in Siberian coal mine blast raised to 52

Nov 24, 2021, 11:09 AM | Updated: Nov 25, 2021, 11:31 pm
In this Russian Emergency Situations Ministry Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021 photo, rescuers prepare to wo...

In this Russian Emergency Situations Ministry Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021 photo, rescuers prepare to work at a fire scene at a coal mine near the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometres (1,900 miles) east of Moscow, Russia,. Russian authorities say a fire at a coal mine in Siberia has killed nine people and injured 44 others. Dozens of others are still trapped. A Russian news agency says the blaze took place in the Kemerovo region in southwestern Siberia. (Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP)

(Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — A devastating explosion in a Siberian coal mine Thursday left 52 miners and rescuers dead about 250 meters (820 feet) underground, Russian officials said.

Hours after a methane gas explosion and fire filled the mine with toxic fumes, rescuers found 14 bodies but then were forced to halt the search for 38 others because of a buildup of methane and carbon monoxide gas from the fire. Another 239 people were rescued.

The state Tass and RIA-Novosti news agencies cited emergency officials as saying that there was no chance of finding any more survivors in the Listvyazhnaya mine, in the Kemerovo region of southwestern Siberia.

The Interfax news agency cited a representative of the regional administration who also put the death toll from Thursday’s accident at 52, saying they died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

It was the deadliest mine accident in Russia since 2010, when two methane explosions and a fire killed 91 people at the Raspadskaya mine in the same Kemerovo region.

A total of 285 people were in the Listvyazhnaya mine early Thursday when the blast sent smoke that quickly filled the mine through the ventilation system. Rescuers led to the surface 239 miners, 49 of whom were injured, and found 11 bodies.

Later in the day, six rescuers also died while searching for others trapped in a remote section of the mine, the news reports said.

Regional officials declared three days of mourning.

Russia’s Deputy Prosecutor General Dmitry Demeshin told reporters that the fire most likely resulted from a methane explosion caused by a spark.

The miners who survived described their shock after reaching the surface.

“Impact. Air. Dust. And then, we smelled gas and just started walking out, as many as we could,” one of the rescued miners, Sergey Golubin, said in televised remarks. “We didn’t even realize what happened at first and took some gas in.”

Another miner, Rustam Chebelkov, recalled the dramatic moment when he was rescued along with his comrades as chaos engulfed the mine.

“I was crawling and then I felt them grabbing me,” he said. “I reached my arms out to them, they couldn’t see me, the visibility was bad. They grabbed me and pulled me out, if not for them, we’d be dead.”

Explosions of methane released from coal beds during mining are rare but they cause the most fatalities in the coal mining industry.

The Interfax news agency reported that miners have oxygen supplies normally lasting for six hours that could only be stretched for a few more hours.

Russia’s Investigative Committee has launched a criminal probe into the fire over violations of safety regulations that led to deaths. It said the mine director and two senior managers were detained.

President Vladimir Putin extended his condolences to the families of the dead and ordered the government to offer all necessary assistance to those injured.

Thursday’s fire wasn’t the first deadly accident at the Listvyazhnaya mine. In 2004, a methane explosion left 13 miners dead.

In 2007, a methane explosion at the Ulyanovskaya mine in the Kemerovo region killed 110 miners in the deadliest mine accident since Soviet times.

In 2016, 36 miners were killed in a series of methane explosions in a coal mine in Russia’s far north. In the wake of the incident, authorities analyzed the safety of the country’s 58 coal mines and declared 20 of them, or 34%, potentially unsafe.

The Listvyazhnaya mine wasn’t among them at the time, according to media reports.

Russia’s state technology and ecology watchdog, Rostekhnadzor, inspected the mine in April and registered 139 violations, including breaching fire safety regulations.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Police officers walk along the road where abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protesters de...
Associated Press

At historic abortion arguments, conservatives signal changes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of the Supreme Court’s conservative majority are suggesting they may make sweeping changes to limit abortion rights in the United States. The high court is hearing arguments Wednesday in which the justices are being asked to overrule the court’s historic 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion and its 1992 ruling […]
10 hours ago
U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., speaks on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, March 27, 2019, in Washingto...
Associated Press

US Rep. Fortenberry alleges prosecutor misled his lawyer

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska has asked a judge to toss out statements he made to federal authorities who were investigating illegal campaign contributions, alleging that a prosecutor misled his lawyer with assurances that the nine-term congressman wasn’t their target. The motion filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in central […]
1 day ago
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attend th...
Associated Press

Blinken says Russia could move on Ukraine ‘on short order’

RIGA, Latvia (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Wednesday that President Vladimir Putin could quickly order an invasion of Ukraine if he had a pretext for doing so but that NATO allies stand ready to inflict heavy sanctions on Russia’s economy if that happens. Tensions over a Russian troop buildup along the […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

German court OKs ban on Cyprus-based porn sites

BERLIN (AP) — A court has ruled that German authorities are justified in banning three pornographic websites based in Cyprus from operating in Germany due to rules intended to protect minors. The Duesseldorf administrative court said Wednesday it had rejected complaints by the sites’ two unnamed operators, who argued that child-protection regulations in Germany didn’t […]
1 day ago
A fissure is seen next to a house covered with ash on the Canary island of La Palma, Spain, Wednesd...
Associated Press

Volcanic lava threatens church, more homes on La Palma

LOS LLANOS DE ARIDANE, Canary Islands (AP) — A fresh river of lava from the volcano on Spain’s La Palma island threatened Wednesday to engulf a parish church that has so far survived the eruption that shows no signs of relenting after 10 weeks. The nearest lava flow to the Los Llanos de Aridane church […]
1 day ago
Commuters wear protective face masks as they walk through a subway station, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, W...
Associated Press

Brazil confirms 3rd omicron case, considers new measures

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Health officials on Wednesday confirmed Brazil’s third known case of the omicron coronavirus variant as the government examined possible new measures to contain the virus, such as suspending some flights and requiring arriving passengers to show proof of vaccination. A passenger from Ethiopia tested positive for Covid-19 upon landing in […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Russia: Death toll in Siberian coal mine blast raised to 52