Russia gold mine collapse: 13 miners trapped inside declared dead

Russia on Monday (Apr 1) halted the rescue operation aimed at rescuing 13 miners who were trapped inside a gold mine since March 18, reported the TASS news agency citing mine management. They were declared dead.

The miners were trapped following a rock collapse while working at the Pioneer mine, which is one of the largest in Russia at a depth of about 125 meters (400 feet).

The mine was located in Russia’s Amur region. There were reports earlier that it was almost completely flooded which posed a challenge during the rescue efforts.

The firm that operates the mine released a statement saying that it would pay compensation to victims’ families.

Last week, the TASS news agency reported that the majority of rescue efforts had been suspended at the mine due to the risk of another rock collapse. In a statement posted on Telegram, the country’s emergencies ministry said that emergency workers would study water deposits discovered at the bottom of four shafts.

“This will allow us to establish a complete picture of the entire depth of the mine and make a decision on further work,” the statement added. 

Gold mine director arrested

Pioneer’s director managing director was arrested over safety violations at the mine, The Moscow Times reported on Monday (Mar 25). The identity of the managing director was not known. 

“The managing director was detained in the Amur region on suspicion of violating safety requirements during operations at the Pioneer mine,” a local branch of the Investigative Committee said.

Videos released by the Committee showed the managing director being informed about the charges against him. The report said that he would jailed for up to seven years if found guilty. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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