A senior local official said search teams found a survivor at a Siberian coal mine where dozens of miners are presumed dead after a devastating methane explosion
MOSCOW – Rescuers have found a survivor at a Siberian coal mine where dozens of miners are presumed dead after a devastating methane explosion, a senior local official said on Friday.
Sergei Tsivilyov, governor of the Kemerovo region where the mine is located, told the Telegram messaging app that the survivor was found in the Listvyazhnaya mine in southwest Siberia and “he is taken to hospital “.
Acting Emergency Minister Alexander Chupriyan said the man found in the mine was a presumed dead rescuer. Governor Tsivilyov said it was highly unlikely to find any further survivors at this point.
Authorities had confirmed 14 deaths on Thursday – 11 miners were found dead and three rescuers died later as they searched for others who were trapped in a remote section of the mine. Six other bodies were found on Friday morning and 31 people are still missing.
Hours after a methane explosion and fire filled the mine with toxic fumes on Thursday, rescuers were forced to halt the search due to a build-up of methane and carbon monoxide from the blaze. A total of 239 people were rescued from the mine; 63 of them on Friday morning requested medical assistance, according to officials in Kemerovo.
State news agencies Tass and RIA-Novosti on Thursday quoted emergency officials as saying there was no chance of finding any more survivors.
It appears to be the deadliest mine accident in Russia since 2010, when two methane explosions and a fire killed 91 people at the Raspadskaya mine in the same Kemerovo region.
In 2016, 36 miners were killed in a series of methane explosions at a coal mine in Russia’s far north. In the aftermath of the incident, authorities analyzed the safety of the country’s 58 coal mines and said 20 of them, or 34%, were potentially dangerous.
Regional authorities have declared three days of mourning. The Russian Commission of Inquiry has launched a criminal investigation into the fire into breaches of safety rules that resulted in fatalities. He said the mine manager and two senior managers were arrested.
Another criminal investigation was launched Friday into the alleged negligence of state officials who inspected the mine earlier this month.