Rescuers have found a survivor in a Siberian coal mine where dozens of miners are estimated to have died after a devastating methane explosion. explosion, a top Russian The official announced on Friday.
Sergei Tsivilyov, governor of the Kemerovo region where the mine is located, said on the messaging app Telegram that the survivor was found at the Listvyazhnaya mine in southwestern Siberia and was “taken to the hospital”.
Acting Emergency Minister Alexander Chupriyan said the man was inside. mine He was a savior presumed dead.
State Tass and RIA-Novosti news agencies said on Thursday that emergency officials said there was no chance of finding more survivors, putting the death toll to 52 by Thursday evening. Saving a survivor on Friday morning reduces that to 51.
Authorities confirmed on Thursday that 14 people were killed – 11 miners were found dead and three rescuers died while searching for others who were later stranded in a remote part of the mine. Six more bodies were found on Friday morning and 31 people are missing.
Governor Tsivilyev said it is unlikely to find other survivors at this point.
Hours after the methane explosion on Thursday and the fire filled the mine with toxic fumes, rescuers had to halt the search due to the buildup of methane and carbon monoxide gas from the fire.
A total of 239 people were rescued from the mine; As of Friday morning, 63 of them sought medical attention, according to Kemerovo officials.
Russia’s Deputy Prosecutor General Dmitry Demeshin told reporters that the fire was most likely caused by a methane explosion caused by a spark.
‘I crawled, then I felt they were holding me’
The surviving miners described their shock upon reaching the surface.
“The blow. The air. The dust. Then we smelled gas and started going out as much as we could,” Sergey Golubin, one of the rescued miners, said on television.
“At first we didn’t understand what was happening and we got some gas.”
Another miner, Rustam Chebelkov, recalled the dramatic moment when he and his comrades were rescued as the mine was in chaos.
“I was crawling and then I felt like they were holding me,” she said.
“I stretched out my arms to them, they couldn’t see me, the vision was bad. They grabbed me and pulled me out, without them we would have died.”
Explosions of methane released from coal deposits during mining are rare, but they cause the most deaths in the coal mining industry.
The Interfax news agency reported that miners have oxygen supplies that normally take six hours and can only be extended by a few more hours.
Russia’s Investigative Committee has launched a criminal investigation into the fire, which broke out due to the violation of safety rules that led to the deaths. The mine manager and two senior executives were taken into custody.
President Vladimir Putin conveyed his condolences to the families of the deceased and ordered the government to provide all necessary assistance to the injured.
It appears to be the deadliest mining accident in Russia since 2010, when two methane explosions and a fire at the Raspadskaya mine in the same Kemerovo region killed 91 people.
In 2016, 36 miners were killed in a series of methane explosions at a coal mine in northern Russia. After the incident, authorities analyzed the safety of 58 coal mines in the country and declared 20, or 34 percent, of them as potentially unsafe.
District officials declared three days of mourning. Russia’s Investigative Committee has launched a criminal investigation into the fire, which broke out due to the violation of safety rules that led to the deaths. The mine manager and two senior executives were taken into custody.
A further criminal investigation was launched on Friday, alleging negligence by government officials who inspected the mine earlier this month.