KEMEROVO, November 25. /TASS/. The authorities of West Siberia’s coal mining area, Kuzbass, have declared three days of mourning for the victims of the Listvyazhnaya coalmine emergency, where eleven workers are known to have died and another 35 remain unaccounted for, Governor Sergey Tsivilyov said on his official Telegram channel.
"Governor Sergey Tsivilyov declared three days of mourning on November 26-28 for the coal workers who died in the accident," the news release runs.
Flags will be flying at half-mast and all local entertainment events and TV shows will be canceled. The regional authorities were instructed to provide the necessary material assistance to the families of victims and all those affected.
"We are mourning for the victims and offer condolences to their near and dear ones. The Kuzbass government will do everything in its power. We will provide all necessary assistance to the families of those who died or were harmed," the governor’s press service quotes Tsivilyov as saying.
The Listvyazhnaya coalmine will extend its own material aid to those affected, the press service of the coalmine’s owner, holding company SDS told TASS.
"Apart from the official aid established under Russian legislation, the families of those killed will be paid 2 million rubles from the coalmine. Extra payments will be created for those affected. The compensation will be determined depending on the seriousness of each case," the company said.
The regional government will announce the measures of support for the coalminers’ families after all workers have been found.
The Emergencies Ministry said smoke was emitted inside the coal mine at a depth of 250 meters on Thursday morning. A source in emergency services told TASS coal dust in a ventilation gallery caught fire, causing smoke to spread throughout the mine.
According to the latest statistics, 11 workers died and another 35 are trapped underground and remain unaccounted for. The rescue operation has had to be paused, as the concentration of coal mine gas has reached an explosive level. So far, 49 workers are being provided medical assistance, eleven have been allowed to go home for outpatient treatment, and 38 others, including four in a serious condition, have been hospitalized.