Russia mourns the deaths of more than 50 people in a coal mine disaster in Siberia.
On Friday, a Siberian mining district began three days of mourning after more than 50 people perished in a coal mine accident and a tragic rescue effort.
After initially claiming that six rescuers had died while attempting to reach the miners, officials announced on Friday that one had been discovered alive and was being treated at a hospital.
However, his survival was a little consolation for a community that had been devastated by the loss of 51 lives, including 46 miners, in Russia’s worst mining accident in almost a decade.
Officials believe a methane explosion caused the catastrophe at the Listvyazhnaya mine in the Kemerovo region on Thursday.
Senior managers at the factory were arrested after investigators initiated a series of examinations into alleged safety violations.
Outside official buildings in Kemerovo, flags flew at half-mast, as bereaved relatives of the victims mourned outside the snow-covered mining site.
As families gathered in sub-zero conditions, one mother said, “I can’t go on.”
Denis Timokhin, a former mine worker, told independent TV station Dozhd that safety violations were common at the plant, accusing management of forcing miners to continue despite excessive methane levels.
He advised, “If you don’t want to work, quit.” “There are no safety standards in place, and all sensors are covered with bags.” Accidents are common in the mining industry, and some residents of Gramoteino, a nearby village, left flowers at a memorial for rescuers killed in a similar mine accident in 2000.
Officials claimed the Listvyazhnaya mine, which had 285 people below, was filled with smoke on Thursday morning following the apparent explosion.
A desperate attempt to leave was reported by miners.
Another added, “I reached out my hands, but they couldn’t find me on their own because the visibility was bad.” “They drew me in… I had no idea who it was or where they were taking me.” Fears of another explosion forced a search and rescue operation initiated on Thursday to be briefly halted.
Six rescuers went missing and were thought to be dead until Friday, when medic Alexander Zakovryashin was discovered alive.
According to regional authorities, he spent the night in the mine before making his way to the surface and calling for help.
Alexander Chupriyan, the acting minister of emergency, described his survival as a “miracle” and paid tribute to those who had died.
“For the entire country and the Russian emergency ministry, this is a great tragedy,” Chupriyan added.
“Rescuers, like miners, completed their mission until the finish,” he said. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.