Russia shuts 30 coal mines over safety violations

RUSSIAN mine safety watchdogs have suspended operations at more than 30 coal mines after safety checks were carried out across the country following the Ulyanovskaya coal mine disaster that killed more than 100 people in March.

Staff Reporter

The Industry and Energy Ministry's technical standards agency said 33 coal mines had been closed, including 29 in the coal-rich region of Kuzbass.

The failure of the mine ventilation system at Ulyanovskaya is believed to have caused the strong build-up of methane that led to the blast, the Associated Press reported.

The AP said Russian news reports claimed Ulyanovskaya miners may have deliberately disabled methane gas monitors and detectors to avoid a slowdown in operations, leading to possible wage cuts.