Russian Regulators Halt Operation of More Than 30 Coal Mines Following Deadly Siberian Blastadmin
Russian regulators said Monday they had suspended operation at more than 30 mines as part of a check of safety standards that followed last month’s Siberian coal mine disaster that killed more than 100 people.
Industrial safety watchdog Rostekhnadzor said 33 coal mines had been suspended nationwide, including 29 in the coal-rich region in eastern Siberia known as the Kuzbass.
The March 19 methane gas explosion at the Kuzbass mine Ulyanovskaya that killed at least 108 miners was Russia’s worst mining disaster in more than a decade.
Rostekhnadzor said the nationwide check was intended to scrutinize mine operators’ compliance with safety standards and technical requirements, with particular attention begin given to ventilation.
The failure of the mine ventilation system at Ulyanovskaya is believed to have been caused the strong buildup of methane that led to the blast.
Rescuers are still searching for two miners.
Russian news reports have said that miners in the Ulyanovskaya operation may have deliberately disabled monitors that track methane and other gas levels to avoid a slowdown in operations, leading to possible wage cuts.
Some union experts have called for a revision of the current pay system in the industry to encourage more respect for safety standards.
Information from: AP via Yahoo News