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MOSCOW, February 13 (Itar-Tass) – Forensic experts have determined that the Vorkutinskaya mine workers died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
“On the night to February 13, the investigators examined the accident scene, finding destruction characteristic of an explosion,” the Russian Investigative Committee (SK) told Itar-Tass. “Forensic examination of nine bodies of the killed miners has been carried out by now. According to experts, the miners died of carbon monoxide poisoning and injuries.”
The SK noted that the investigators continue questioning witnesses, rescuers, management and officials of the mine, study the relevant documentation. Other investigation actions aimed at determining the causes and circumstances of the incident, as well as those responsible for the tragedy are conducted within the criminal case.
The accident at the Vorkutinskaya mine occurred on February 11 at 10:28 MSK as a result of a methane explosion at a depth of 800 metres. According to specified data of the RF Emergency Situations Ministry (EMERCOM), there were 26 people in the accident zone, 18 of them died, three were rescued and taken to hospital, the condition of one of them is assessed as very grave. Another five people managed to get to the surface on their own. The miners’ shift of 259 workers was underground at the moment of the accident, the rest were evacuated.
In connection with the Vorkutinskaya mine explosion, February 12, 13 and 14 were declared mourning days in the Komi Republic. The corresponding decree was signed by the head of the region, Vyacheslav Gaiser. Gaiser instructed the regional government, jointly with the municipality to take the necessary measures to provide assistance to the killed miners’ families. Earlier, the head of the Komi Republic, the State Council and the government expressed their condolences over the death of miners.
The investigation authorities of the Russia’s SK department for the Komi Republic instituted criminal proceedings under Article 216, part 3 of the RF Criminal Code – “violation of safety rules during mining, construction or other operations, resulting in the death of two or more persons by negligence.”