Russia jails 5 people over coal mine disaster that killed 51

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A Russian court has ordered five people to be detained for two months ahead of trial pending an investigation into the devastating explosion at a coal mine in Siberia that killed dozens.

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Russian authorities on Thursday reported the deaths of 51 people – 46 miners and five rescuers – after a methane explosion at the Listvyaznaya mine in the Kemerovo region of southwestern Siberia. The tragedy appears to be the deadliest in Russia since 2010.

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The Central District Court in the city of Kemerovo decided to jail the director of the Listvyazhnaya mine, Sergei Makhrakov, his deputy Andrei Molostov and the section supervisor Sergei Gerasimenok. They are facing charges of violating industrial safety requirements for hazardous production facilities, resulting in several deaths. If found guilty, he could face up to seven years in prison.

Two officials from Rostekhnadzor’s local branch, Russia’s state technology and ecology watchdog – Sergei Vinokurov and Vyacheslav Semkin – have also been jailed for two months on charges of negligence that led to two or more deaths, with up to seven years in prison. Might be possible. Too.

Law enforcement officials said Friday that miners had complained about high levels of methane in the mine. Russia’s top independent news site, Meduza, reported that this year officials suspended work on parts of the mine nine times and issued fines of more than 4 million rubles (about $53,000) for safety breaches.

A total of 285 miners were in the Listvyazhnaya mine on Thursday morning when the explosion, which filled the mine with toxic fumes. A total of 239 people were rescued immediately after the explosion, and more than 60 sought medical help for the injuries.

Officials said Thursday that 11 miners and three rescuers were killed while searching for others in a remote part of the mine. Thirty-five miners were still trapped in the mine when a build-up of methane and carbon monoxide gas forced rescuers to halt their search for several hours.

Three more rescuers had gone missing and were presumed dead on Thursday with the miners trapped until May. However, on Friday morning, search teams found a rescue worker in the mine who was still alive and conscious. He has suffered shock and carbon monoxide poisoning of moderate severity and is undergoing treatment at a hospital.

Authorities described his rescue as a “miracle” and said there was little chance of any other survivors being found at the time.

Kemerovo Governor Sergei Civiliev announced the resumption of search operations on Saturday, saying “we need to raise everyone (to the surface).” However, he added that the rescue team must act “carefully”.

“We have no right to lose a single person any more,” Tsivilyov wrote on the messaging app Telegram.

Later on Saturday, search teams recovered the bodies of five miners.

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