Siberian coal deaths

THREE miners have died in an accident at a Siberian coal mine owned by one of Russia’s biggest steelmakers, the Evraz Group.

Vivienne Ryan

The accident occurred yesterday at mine No. 12 in the Siberian region of Kemerovo and an investigation was underway to determine its cause, Russia’s Emergencies Ministry told news agency Reuters.

A ministry official said there had been a “breach of technological process with methane involved” but did not say if there had been an explosion.

“An investigation is being carried out to find out the reason,” the official told Reuters.

Evraz has not said if production would be affected.

Last month Russian authorities embarked on a safety inspection of Siberia’s coal mines, which have killed more than 150 miners in the past 16 months.

In the safety crackdown 52 mines were suspended for safety breaches in August.

The inspections exposed 6566 violations of legislation and the regulator fined 40 legal entities, 583 officials and 36 individuals for a total of $US106,929.