The death toll from a fire that broke out on Saturday at a coal mine in the Karaganda region, in central Kazakhstan, has reached 45.Reported by the Ministry for Emergency Situations this Sunday. According to a statement, the search continues for the last miner who can still be found in the underground galleries of the Kostenko mine.
The fire was caused by a methane explosion, according to authorities and the ArcelorMittal Temirtau company itself, which stated that At the time of the accident there were 252 workers in the mine.
The Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation to clarify the causes and circumstances of the accident under article 277 of the penal code on the violation of safety rules during mining or construction work, although the government commission is responsible for the company in mining.
The President of Kazakhstan, Kasim-Yomart Tokáyev, ordered the Government to immediately suspend cooperation with ArcelorMittal Temirtau – a company belonging to the steel giant ArcelorMittal – and traveled to Karaganda on Saturday.
Tokayev, who received a message of condolence from Russian President Vladimir Putin, declared Sunday a day of national mourning.
ArcelorMittal Temiratu announced on Sunday an agreement with the Kazakh Government for the transfer to the Central Asian Republic of the company’s mining assetswhich guarantees that no worker will be laid off.
In recent years, local authorities have accused the company of failed to fulfill its commitments to modernize the infrastructure after several accidents at its facilities which claimed the lives of many workers.
The worst tragedy occurred in 2006 when 41 miners died in an accident in one of the mines owned by the giant Mittal, which owns a total of 15 mines and other properties in the Karaganda coal basin that were acquired of this during the post-Soviet privatization of the largest part of the country.Republic of Central Asia.