May 24,2007 00:00
MOSCOW - All the miners in a Russian coal mine where methane gas exploded Thursday morning have been accounted for, with 38 dead and seven injured.
Only one of the miners at the epicenter of the blast in the Yubileinaya mine survived, Itar-Tass reported. One of the injured is reported to be in critical condition and two in serious condition.
Aman Tuleyev, head of crisis management for Rostekhnadzor Federal Service for Supervision of Environment, Technology and Nuclear Management, said that the explosion may have been caused by a fault in a coal bed. He said that the bed in the area where the blast occurred is unusually complex with a high concentration of methane.
The official cause is not expected to be released for at least two weeks.
Authorities also said that mine operator Yuzhkuzbassugol may face sanctions for safety violations. There have been three accidents at mines owned by the company this year, including two at Yubileinaya. In March, a methane explosion killed 110 workers at the Ulyanovskaya mine.
Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.