Rescue worker dies in aborted rescue effort

THE death of a rescue worker has increased the total number of casualties in Ukraine’s recent coal mine disaster to 35 with two miners still unaccounted for.

Staff Reporter

An explosion on 19 July at the Krasnolymanska longwall mine coalmine in the Donetsk region, killed 34 of the 48 people underground at the time, with 12 getting to the surface safely.

Earlier in the week rescue efforts were focused on controlling a fire which had broken out and supplying nitrogen underground via a gas drainage pipeline.

The rescue team initially found the bodies of three miners who were in the pit at the time of the explosion on 19 July and were trying to recover them when a ventilator pumping air to an emergency shaft suddenly lost power.

As a result the air temperature in the shaft rose sharply causing the death of the team’s commander, A. Lavushkin. Seven other rescuers were hospitalized after suffering heatstroke.

Ukrainian News reported that insurance company Oradon (Donetsk) intends to pay out UAH 0.35 million to the families of the dead miners. In the first half of this year, Oradon insured over 10,000 miners from virtually all the mines in Donetsk region.

The Krasnolymanska coalmine was put in operation in 1958 with a projected capacity of 1.2 million tons of coal annually, and its current production capacity is 1.8 million tons of coal. According to media reports the mine is categorized as dangerous.

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