38 miners killed in Russian mine explosion

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Map highlighting the Kemerovo Oblast.
Image: Morwen.

At least 38 miners are dead after methane exploded in an underground coal mine in Russia. 180 people made it out of the mine, and at least 7 of those were seriously injured. At least 217 miners were inside when the explosion occurred.

"Up to 45 people could have been at the epicenter of the blast. One hundred and eighty people have been brought out. Of these, five have life-threatening injuries. The fate of the other [trapped] miners is unknown. According to the (mining) company’s information, there were 194 workers and 23 engineering inspectors underground [when the mine exploded]," said a spokesman for Russia's Emergency Ministry.

The explosion occurred at the Yubileynaya (Jubilee) Mine located in Novokuznetsk, Russia in the Kemerovo Oblast at approximately 7:40 a.m. local time on Thursday [11:40 p.m. eastern time on Wednesday]. Yuzhkuzbassugol currently owns the mining facility.

The mine has already received several violations, and according to Russia's industrial safety agency the mine would likely lose its license to operate. "Such a decision could be taken after an inquiry into all the circumstances of the accident at the Yubileinaya mine. Particularly since we have already found violations at Yuzhkuzbassugol mines."