Relatives of Russian mineworkers killed in a series of explosions at the Severnaya mine in Vorkuta, north of the Arctic circle, are demanding legal action against managers who repeatedly violated safety procedures.
Four miners died on Thursday 25 February as a result of two underground explosions of methane gas. Twenty-six more men were trapped underground: on Sunday 28 February,
media reported that hope of finding them alive had faded. Also on Sunday, five rescue workers and a miner were killed in a further explosion.
By midday Sunday 300 people had signed a petition launched by the victims’ relatives to Aleksandr Bastrykin, head of Russia’s state investigation committee, demanding that mine managers be prosecuted.
“The [first] explosion came as no surprise: the detectors had for a long time shown an excess of methane”, the petition states. “Work should not have continued at the time. This is a crude breach of safety procedures. Management knew this, but continued to allow people underground.”
On Thursday, workers on the surface believed there had been a movement of rock strata underground. On Friday the press service of the Vorkutaugol company, which owns the mine Read the rest of this entry »