Vershino-Darasunsky mine to reopen when violations eliminated

Vershino-Darasunsky mine to reopen when violations eliminated

Russian Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu has blamed the recent fire in a gold mine in the Chita Region on gross violations of rules of operation.

Shoigu, who personally led the government inquiry into the incident, said all rescue works at the burning mine were held on the basis of recollections of former employees, who worked at the mine from 1972 till its closure in the early 1990s.

”There were no geodetic surveys or books of registration stating where this or that worker was dispatched during the work shift. During the inquiry many even denied they had ever sent welders to do any work inside the mine,” he said.

Shoigu thanked the Kemerovo coalfields-based rescue workers and Kemerovo Governor Aman Tuleyev, who promptly responded to this emergency.

The technical supervision watchdog Rostekhnadzor has been instructed to draw up a timetable of eliminating all identified violations.

”The Vershino-Darasunsky mine will not resume operation until all of them have been eliminated,” Shoigu said. ”We shall hand over all our findings to the government and the prosecutor’s office for making appropriate decisions and probably, for indicting those responsible on criminal charges.”

The fire occurred at the Vershino-Darasunsky mine on September 7, when there were 64 workers inside. Thirty one managed to promptly rise to the surface on their own. On the third day rescue workers recovered another eight survivors. Twenty five workers died. A government commission was formed to provide assistance to those affected and the families of victims and look into the causes of the incident.

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