38 miners are now known to have died in an underground blast in Siberia. It is the second such incident in just two months. In March, 110 died following a methane blast in a neighbouring colliery owned by the same company. This time three-quarters of the miners managed to make it to the surface unharmed, but they have complained of other lesser explosions in the past months which have not made the headlines.
The Russian government convened shortly after the accident and the Prime Minister, Mikhail Fradkov, said he was very concerned: “ The Russian industrial safety agency has already found some infractions in the running of the company responsible for this mine. It’s a very serious problem. The new accident is very disturbing. It is beyond the limits of acceptable.”
The company which runs the mine has refused to comment. It runs a total of 20 in the region. After the blast in March it was found guilty of serious security errors. It’s thought it could now lose its operating licence. Saturday has been declared a day of local mourning.