A total of 52 people died in the Listvyazhnaya mine accident in the Kemerovo Region as of the morning of November 26. One of the rescuers who was considered dead and spent almost a day underground reached the surface reducing the number of victims of the tragedy to 51 people.
Governor of the Kemerovo region Sergei Tsiviliev announced a three-day mourning period for the dead from November 26.
Meanwhile, according to TASS, the number of injured increased to 63 people. Most of them are in a stable condition, which does not cause serious concerns, say doctors.
Methane exploded at the Listvyazhnaya mine at about 9 a.m. local time the day before. At that time, there were 285 miners underground. Nineteen rescue units and 30 units of special equipment were sent to the scene of the accident. 239 people were brought up at the surface. While rescuing the miners, the rescuers were also injured. The death toll included 46 miners and six rescuers. However, one worker, 51-year-old rescuer Alexander Zakoryashin, was found alive today in the mine. Medics assess his condition as moderate.
According to RIA Novosti, communication with the rescue team was lost at about 3 p.m. on November 25. Searches were immediately organized by the rescue squad.
The day before, the bodies of 11 miners and three rescuers were found and raised to the surface. There were still 35 miners under the debris in the mine. The commander of the Kemerovo militarized mine rescue squad Yury She said that “it is impossible to speak of any survivors” because of the hazardous gas atmosphere in the emergency area. There is heavy smoke in the mine. The concentration of gases is very high, and the rescue team was not able to get to the miners who were underground. In the evening, the rescue operation was suspended due to the possibility of another explosion. The rescue work was resumed in the morning.
Svetlana Zadera, the wife of the deceased Boris Piyalkin, told journalists that there was a fire in the mine10 days ago.
“On November 15 they extinguished the fire with their own hands,” RIA Novosti wrote citing her words. According to Svetlana Zadera, the concentration of gas had been high for a long time and her husband told her that they had to wet the sensor, otherwise, it would beep.
Listvyazhnaya is a part of SDS-Ugol Holding, one of the leaders of the Russian coal mining industry. Its mines are located at the Egozovo-Krasnoyarsk coal deposit. SDS-Ugol works in cooperation with the same-name enrichment plant, located in Belov. This plant, which processes steam coal, is one of the most powerful in Russia.
After an explosion and smoke in the mine which killed people, a criminal case was initiated for violations of safety rules at the industrial enterprise. To date, the 47-year-old mine manager Sergei Makhlakov, his deputy, and the site manager have been detained, along with two Rostekhnadzor officials who conducted inspections at the plant. According to local media reports, Mahlakov, the manager of the Listvyazhnaya mine, who had held the post since 2013, was named the winner of a regional contest in the category ‘Mine Manager-2021’ a few months ago.
The Prosecutor General's Office has taken the situation under special control. The Investigative Committee reported that investigative measures, involving the detainees, were currently underway, and the issue of the selection of a measure of restraint will be resolved soon. Deputy Prosecutor General of Russia, Dmitry Demeshin, who arrived in the Kemerovo Region, said that, according to preliminary data, the methane exploded after a spark. The miners were injured and were unable to get to the surface on their own. Demeshin said at a meeting with relatives of the victims on November 26 that in addition to the managers of Listvyazhnaya, two representatives of the supervisory service, who performed an earlier inspection of the mine for compliance with safety regulations, were also put in detention.
To date, 50 victims are in inpatient treatment and 13 victims are treated as outpatients, said the Deputy Minister of Health of the Kemerovo region Vitaly Kheraskov. All the 11 rescuers who were sent to hospitals are conscious, and there are no severe patients are among them. According to Kheraskov, there is no threat to their lives. All hospitalized workers have “positive dynamics.”
Flags are dipped and all entertainment events and broadcasts were canceled for three days in the Kemerovo Region. The work of the headquarters, which is in charge of the elimination of the consequences of the accident, is headed by the Governor of the Kemerovo Region Sergey Tsivilev.