The death toll from the Listvyazhnaya mine accident in the Kemerovo region of Russia has grown to 52, TASS reports.
No one was left alive in the mine. Fifty-two people have been killed in the accident, including mine rescuers.
The accident in the coal mine took place in the morning of Thursday, November 25. At that moment, there were 285 workers staying under the ground, of whom 43 people were hurt. They were hospitalized, four of them remain in serious condition.
The Kemerovo region declared November 26-28 the days of mourning for the victims of the mine disaster.
Deputy Prosecutor General of Russia Dmitry Demeshin announced the preliminary reason for the disaster that took place at the Listvyazhnaya mine. According to him, most likely, the disaster occurred due to the explosion of methane.
"Most likely, it was a methane explosion, which took place because of a spark that triggered the explosion and the dynamic impact. The people were injured and could not get out of the mine," the official said.
It was reported earlier that the tragedy in the mine occurred because of a fire that broke out due to the ignition of coal dust. The smoke from the fire then filled the entire mine through ventilation shafts.
Earlier, Interfax news agency reported that the miners who were trapped in the mine after the explosion had minimum chances to survive.
"The missing miners may have run out of oxygen by lunchtime. Self-rescuer systems are designed for six hours,” a source told the agency noting that more than 12 hours had passed since the accident. No air pockets were found in life-lines of the mine.
An eyewitness to the incident later told about the feat of his fellow miners. According to him, the mine workers were brave enough to run inside right after the emergency. They managed to save about ten people. The man admitted that he did not run into the mine himself, because he was so scared he could not move his feet.
Russia's Investigative Committee opened a criminal case into the Listvyazhnaya mine disaster that has become Russia's largest mine accident since 2010. The director, the first deputy director and the head of the section have been detained.
The department clarified that the detainees violated industrial safety requirements at hazardous production facilities.
"A gas-dynamic phenomenon occurred. Smoke started filling the ventilation shaft of Section No. 4, which caused the workers in the mine to suffocate," representatives for the Investigative Committee said.
In 2021, inspections revealed 914 violations at Listvyazhnaya mine, Andrey Vil, an official representative for Rostekhnadzor said. Since the beginning of the year, 127 inspections have been carried out at the mine, and the operation of the facility has been suspended nine times. The total amount of fines exceeded four million rubles.
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