As an emergency operation continues at a Russian mine where more than 100 workers died in a gas explosion, the Kremlin has anounced it is investigating the blast and other recent tragedies. Rescuers have found one survivor and are still searching for a handful of others in the pit in Siberia. It is Russia’s worst mining disaster since the demise of the Soviet Union.
Relatives of the victims are demanding to know how such an explosion could have occured at a relatively modern mine. President Vladimir Putin, who has been criticised in the past for a perceived slow response to other tragedies, has been quick to act this time.
At a meeting, which began with a minute’s silence, he tasked officials with finding out the causes of the mine blast, yesteday’s fire at a nursing home and a recent plane crash. The triple investigation will be led by Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. At least 62 mostly elderly people died in the blaze at a residential home in a village in the southern Krasnodor region.
The inquiry will focus on the fire prevention systems in the building. It took fire crews almost an hour to reach the remote location. The role of the emergency services has already been raised in relation to the crash of an ageing commercial jet in the south east of the country at the weekend. Six of the 57 people on board were killed.