Moscow: Searchers on 18 April found the bodies of two victims missing after a methane blast last month at a Siberan coal mine, bringing the death toll in Russia’s worst mine disaster in more than a decade to 110, an official said.
The bodies were recovered from the Ulyanovskaya mine in the Kemerovo region, said Marina Chalabko, chief spokeswoman for Yuzhkuzbassugol, the company that operates the mine. No more people are missing, she said.
Konstanin Pulikovsky, the head of the federal industrial safety watchdog agency that investigated the March 19 blast, said Monday that the mine’s methane gas detection system had been blocked, allowing the gas to build up.
Pulikovsky charged that managers at the mine were responsible for giving such orders. An investigation conducted by regional experts alongside the official inquiry also concluded last month that the safety system may have been deliberately taken out of order.
Russian media have reported that miners often cover the gas sensors with their jackets to keep the system from sounding a warning and stopping all work at the facility. Some union experts have called for a revision of the current pay system in the industry to encourage more respect for safety standards.