Five miners trapped in Kazakhstan after explosion

Five coal miners were trapped at an ArcelorMittal mine in Kazakhstan on Monday following a methane explosion, the Emergencies Ministry said.

Five miners trapped in Kazakhstan after explosion
There were no reported injuries. The ministry said in a statement rescue workers were at the site to bring the miners to the surface.

It said 95 miners were evacuated in the early hours of the day after the blast ripped through the Tentekskaya coal mine in the Karaganda region due to a sudden release of gas at the pit.

"Rescue work is continuing non-stop," Nurlan Nigmatulin, Karaganda's governor, told a government meeting by telephone. "There is no fire and that is making rescue worker easier."

Nikolai Kubrakov, a spokesman for ArcelorMittal's Kazakhstan subsidiary, confirmed the mine belonged to the company but gave no further details.

Kazakhstan has piled pressure on ArcelotMittal over safety standards since a blast at one of its Kazakh mines killed 30 miners in January.

An explosion at another mine killed 43 workers in 2006. Two earlier blasts, in 2002 and 2004, left more than 30 people dead.

The company has said it was doing everything to protect its workers. A company source told Reuters last month it would spend $263 million this year to modernise its mines in Kazakhstan, a resource-rich Central Asian nation.

Mining accidents occur often in the former Soviet Union where safety practices tend to be less rigorous than at Western operated mines. Explosions in coal mines are most often the result of a build-up of methane.

On Friday, 17 miners in neighouring Russia got trapped after a cave-in at the Lenin mine in the coal-rich Kemerovo region. Most of them escaped to safety, but on Sunday rescue workers found three of them dead.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Haziran 2008, 12:35