Investigators Wrap Up Ulyanovskaya Mine Blast Case

MOSCOW, February 13 (RIA Novosti) – Investigators have completed an inquiry into a mine blast in Russia’s Kemerovo region in 2007 which killed 110 people, they said on Wednesday.

The case, one of the biggest coal mine accidents in Russia in the past 80 years, has been sent to prosecutors for approval, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said on Wednesday.

Breaches of mine safety rules allegedly led to a methane blast that ripped through the Ulyanovskaya coal mine in western Siberia on March 19, 2007.

Six mine employees, including the mine’s director, have been charged with violations of safety rules causing multiple deaths, while three state officials will stand the trial on negligence charges.

Both charges carry a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.

Charges against 19 engineers were dropped due to the statute of limitations.

Russia has a poor mine safety record, with a string of major accidents in the last two decades. Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov called for better safety measures at Russian mines on Wednesday, after eighteen miners died in a methane gas blast at the Vorkutinskaya mine in the Komi republic on Monday.

The miners killed in the Komi incident died of carbon monoxide poisoning and injuries, the Investigative Committee said on Wednesday.


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