Rescue operation at Vorkutaugol

Rescue operation at Severnaya mine (AO Vorkutaugol) is still in process. Fall of ground and strong fumigation makes it complicated but Vorkutaugol continues to do everything in its power to evacuate the remaining miners as quickly as possible.

So far 80 colleagues have been safely evacuated to the mine’s surface. Eight further colleagues have suffered some injuries, with five receiving treatment at a local hospital. Doctors say their lives are not at risk.

Evacuation of the remaining 26 miners is still in progress.

However, the company is deeply saddened to announce that there have been four fatalities following this incident. The company along with SOGAZ insurance company and the Government of Republic of Komi will offer full support to all those affected by this tragic incident.

An initial investigation suggests that yesterday’s incident was caused by methane emissions and blast at the mine. The suggestion is proved by laboratory analysis provided by Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia.

110 miners were working in the mine at the time of the incident.

Severstal’s senior management are currently travelling to the site of the incident.

Vadim Larin, CEO of Severstal Management, said:

On behalf of everyone at Severstal I would like to express my deepest condolences to those affected by this tragic incident, particularly the friends and families of our valued colleagues who lost their lives. They will not be forgotten and the company will provide full support to all those affected by yesterday’s terrible events. The safety of our employees is our number one priority, we have invested significantly into safety equipment and procedures at Vorkutaugol in recent years. The company is working with the authorities and an investigation is already underway to identify the cause of this tragic incident.

In 2015, the Severnaya coal mine produced approximately 1.5 mln tonnes of coal concentrate, which is about 27% of Vorkutaugol’s overall production of coal concentrate in 2015 (5.6 mln tonnes).