The accident at the Listvyazhnaya mine is typical and its cause is a violation of safety regulations, said mining engineer Alexander Balakhnin on December 5 in an interview with Izvestia.
“Such accidents are typical. This is a violation of safety precautions, first of all, a violation of the work performance and, in fact, carelessness on the part of people. And the main reason is the economic background. People want to make money. If the bosses drive you to the mine, especially if you don’t go to Listvyazhnaya, they say, then tomorrow you may be fired, then, of course, they strain and go to the mine, despite the danger, ”Balakhnin said.
He said that at one time, while working at a dangerous mine, in which a sudden release of methane could exceed 20 cubic meters. m per ton of coal mined, all miners strictly observed safety precautions. Special measures were taken to dedust the mine, washed away the dust, which is explosive in combination with methane. The sides of the workings were sprinkled with special inert dust. They monitored the electricity, which turns off automatically when the methane concentration exceeds 2%, since an explosion occurs at a volume of 2% to 9%, and then the gas burns.
Balakhnin pointed out that if one factor of the safety system is violated, a spark may occur, followed by a series of explosions in the mine. He recalled the tragedy at the Raspadskaya mine in 1983, where 20 people died. And the miners were specially taken to see what happens in an explosion of this magnitude.
“What I happened to see there – it makes a very strong impression, because after the explosion it is impossible to remain alive in the mine. As a rule, the perpetrators die first. According to the degree of damage to people, there are several factors …. the pressure is high during an explosion, fire, and if you inhale this air, one breath and a person dies from a burn of the lungs “, – he said.
According to him, the consequences of the explosion, which he managed to visit after the accident at the mine, were terrible. For 3 km, the mine was heaped up, the roof and support collapsed, it is difficult for rescuers to find people in this.
“In the mine where I worked, each miner had his own degree of responsibility. If you broke it for the first time, you are given a special warning token. If you received several of them, then you are fired and no one else will take a job. Because the lives of dozens of people depend on one person. And one by one, the mine does not pick up during an explosion, ”the specialist emphasized.
Balakhnin recalled that now there is a rather low level of responsibility for accidents at mines. In 1983, 20 people went to prison for the death of 20 people, and in 2010 no one sat down for the death of 91 people at Raspadskaya, Balakhnin noted.
The tragedy at the mine took place on November 25. Smoke started in the morning. As confirmed in the Ministry of Emergency Situations on November 30, an explosion occurred in the mine. The accident killed 51 people, including five rescuers. 99 people were injured. After what happened in the region, an emergency regime was introduced. In total, there were 285 miners in the mine at that time.
On the fact of the incident, a criminal case was initiated under Part 2 of Art. 217 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Violation of industrial safety requirements for hazardous production facilities, resulting in the death of a person by negligence”), as well as a criminal case on the fact of negligence of employees of the Rostekhnadzor department.
According to some reports, mine workers repeatedly reported dangerous methane concentrations, but they were forced to work. The defendants in the cases are five people – the managers of the mine and the inspectors of Rostekhnadzor.
On December 2, during an online meeting held by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the situation in the coal industry in Kuzbass and the state of emergency at the Listvyazhnaya mine, the general director of SDS-Ugol JSC, which owns the mine, assured that he was ready to be punished for what had happened.
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