The rescue operation was suspended due to the threat of an explosion.
The death toll as a result of the accident at the Listyazhnaya coal mine in the town of Belovo, Kemerovo Region, has risen to 52.
Interfax reports this with reference to a source in the administration of the Belovsky urban district.
“Yes, 52 people were killed,” the source confirmed, adding that there were six rescuers among the dead. “The victims choked on carbon monoxide,” he added.
It is known that the incident also injured at least 49 people, 44 of whom are in hospitals. The condition of the four victims is assessed as grave, they are in intensive care.
Meanwhile, the rescue operation was suspended due to the threat of an explosion.
“We have now taken a pause until the morning. The operational pause is associated with the deteriorating gas-dynamic situation in the mine, the concentration of methane is growing,” explained Alexander Chupriyan, acting head of the RF Ministry of Emergency Situations.
As reported, the smoke in the ventilation drift at the coal mine “Listyazhnaya” happened on the morning of Thursday, November 25th. At the time of the incident, there were 285 people in the mine.
According to preliminary data, coal dust caught fire at a depth of 250 meters. After that, an explosion occurred and a fire broke out, and acrid smoke spread along the entire mine.
On the fact of the state of emergency, the Investigative Committee of Russia opened a criminal case on violation of industrial safety requirements of hazardous production facilities, which caused the death of a person by negligence (part 2 217 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).
The regional prosecutor's office initiated an audit of compliance with the legislation on labor protection and industrial safety.
Investigators detained the 47-year-old director of the mine, his 59-year-old deputy and 36- the summer site manager. Charges will be brought against them in the near future. The issue of choosing a preventive measure in the form of detention is being resolved.
“During the initial investigative actions, it was established that the detainees violated the industrial safety requirements of hazardous production facilities. 4, as a result of which the workers who were in production were suffocated, “the law enforcement officers noted.