4 killed, 26 missing after Russian mine accident

2016-02-26 13:00
The Nochten open pit lignite (brown coal) mine serving the Boxberg lignite-fired power station run by Swedish energy giant Vattenfall. (John Macdougall, AFP)

The Nochten open pit lignite (brown coal) mine serving the Boxberg lignite-fired power station run by Swedish energy giant Vattenfall. (John Macdougall, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Moscow - Four miners were killed and 26 were missing after a pit collapse in northern Russia, in the latest tragedy to hit the accident-prone industry, investigators said on Friday.

A total of 110 people were on duty at the Severnaya coal mine in the remote Komi region on Thursday when it was hit by a "pressure burst", Vorkutaugol, which owns the mine, said.

Eighty workers were rescued and brought to the surface.

A spokesperson for Vorkutaugol, Tatyana Bushkova, said a methane explosion had also taken place in the mine.

"But so far it's difficult to say what was the root cause of the accident," Bushkova told AFP.

Vladimir Markin, a spokesperson for the Moscow-based Investigative Committee, Russia's main investigative agency, said: "Currently the fate of 26 miners is unknown, four people died."

Hundreds of rescue workers were trying to trace the missing on Friday, the emergencies ministry said.

Bushkova said that all the places where the miners could be had been identified, adding that a fire was still burning at the site of the blast.

In a sign of the seriousness of the situation, Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov flew to the Arctic region Thursday evening to personally oversee the rescue operation.

The Investigative Committee has opened a criminal probe into the violation of safety rules at the mine and dispatched a number of investigators and forensic experts to the scene.

Mine collapses are common in Russia and other former Soviet countries, where some infrastructure has not been modernised since the Communist era.

Read more on:    russia  |  security

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.