Miners reported violations at the Listvyazhnaya mine before the explosion – RBK

“There is nowhere else to work here”

Another miner confirmed that in recent months the methane content in the air has repeatedly risen above the norm. “When there was a lot of methane, lava (a longwall underground mine working in which a mineral was extracted. – RBK) got up, did not go. But when the level dropped a little, they continued to drive, ”he said.

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The miner noted that if the methane content in the air exceeds 1%, the equipment should be turned off, and people should be taken out of the mine.

“And there was more than 2-4%. We have lanterns, they have a methane sensor. It is calculated at 1%. When there is 1% methane in the air, it blinks. I worked not far from the place where the explosion occurred, from the lava where the coal was mined – in the auxiliary area, where coal is poured from the main belt onto ours. And our lantern was constantly blinking, ”said the interlocutor.

According to him, measures were taken at the mine: they installed fans, laid pipes to ventilate, but “it did not help much.” Those who were indignant were told: if you don’t like it, go, he noted.

The miner said that he would continue to work at Listvyazhnaya. “There is nowhere else,” he added.

Rescuers who died at the Listvyazhnaya mine in Kuzbass will be awarded posthumously

The third miner, in a conversation with RBC, also said that the dangerous situation at the mine was known even before the tragedy. “The miners go down into the mine on foot along the inclined shaft, in front there is a linkman with a gas analyzer. It measures both methane and CO, and how much air is supplied. There is a 30th barrel there. When we started down this borehole, it was 2.4-2.8%. They went down a little lower – 4-5%. There was such a field drift – there were 7%, 12%. We worked. They called the chief – he said: “Write a statement [на увольнение], go home, ”the interlocutor said, adding that after working in such conditions there was nausea, headache, dizziness.

He said that the miners’ salaries are not fixed, but tied to the volume of production. “On average, a miner has a salary of 72-75 thousand rubles. before taxes. But we still have such a concept – the coefficient of labor participation, KTU. Usually, if a person works conscientiously, he should have KTU = 1. But it happened that someone did not like the boss and he wrote not 1, but 0.9, and the miner received 8-10 thousand rubles. less, ”he added.

Denis Timokhin, a former miner of the longwall at the mining site No. 4 of the mine, also complained about violations at Listvyazhnaya in an interview with RBC. According to him, this is the area where the accident occurred.

“I worked at the Listvyazhnaya mine from 2017 to 2021. There have been violations there for a long time. As the 823rd lava began, there was a lot of methane immediately. Started from 2%. But people were forced to work. If you don’t want to, quit. And people have mortgages, loans, children. An acquaintance said that now there was already 6% methane, ”says the man.

According to him, the head of the site warned that the level of methane is too high and “it is impossible to go”, but the management “needed coal mining.” “No coal, no salary. Nothing was done there with methane. People felt bad. Once I almost lost consciousness, went out into a fresh stream, breathed, then back there, ”Timokhin said.

There were other safety violations at the mine, he said. “For example, for safety reasons, two or three people need to be sent to the longwall for delivery, one was sent: there are no people, the director’s order. Diesel engines stall because of methane, diesel workers refuse to go there <...> At 2% methane, the combine should stall, but they put jumpers, connected some wires and continued working, ”said the miner.

“Something is wrong in many mines”

The first deputy chairman of the Russian Independent Trade Union of Coal Industry Workers Ruben Badalov told RBC that Listvyazhnaya miners did not directly appeal to them about their working conditions.

“But indirectly, we knew about the situation <...> Unfortunately, in many mines, something is wrong. I’m talking about Russia in general. The Kemerovo region differs only in that the volume of production is large and, probably, difficult mines. For [выявления нарушений] there is also Rostekhnadzor and other departments. If employees contact us directly, we take action, ”Badalov said.

The press service of Rostekhnadzor told RBC that the miners’ complaints about violation of safety rules at Listvyazhnaya will be checked by a commission that is conducting a technical investigation of the accident.

RBC contacted the SDS-Ugol holding, which owns Listvyazhnaya, but the company was unable to promptly comment on the miners’ complaints. RBC also sent a request to the Siberian department of Rostekhnadzor.

Investigative Committee opened a negligence case after an accident at a mine in the Kemerovo region

On the morning of November 25, an explosion and smoke occurred at the Listvyazhnaya mine in the Kemerovo Region. Then there were 285 people in it, of whom 239 were evacuated. Another 46 miners remained in the mine. They were later pronounced dead. Six mine rescuers were also declared dead. But on Friday afternoon it became known that one of the rescuers survived and managed to get to the surface.

The reason for the emergency, according to preliminary data, was the explosion of methane from a spark, reported Deputy Prosecutor General Dmitry Demeshin. On the fact of the incident, the Investigative Committee opened two criminal cases. The first is about the violation of industrial safety requirements for hazardous production facilities, which inadvertently resulted in the death of a person (part 2 of article 217 of the Criminal Code). According to him detained director of the Listvyazhnaya mine, his first deputy and head of the section.

The second case was initiated under an article on negligence, in which suspected employees of the local department of Rostekhnadzor. According to the UK, the inspectors drew up acts on the inspection of the roadway (underground mining), but in fact they did not check it.

The official representative of Rostekhnadzor, Andrey Vil, said that 127 inspections were carried out at Listvyazhnaya this year, 914 violations were revealed, the mine was suspended nine times, and the total amount of fines amounted to more than 4 million rubles.

If the department finds violations that pose a threat to the life and health of people, the work of the facilities is suspended, he continued. Both enterprises and officials are fined for violations. “In practice, Rostechnadzor usually asks for the maximum sanction, but the final decision is made by the court. If violations are not eliminated, the sanctions are tightened. It is difficult not to correct the recorded violation, ”said Wiel.

After the accident at Listvyazhnaya, the Prosecutor’s Office of the Kemerovo Region checked there are six mines in the region. The department revealed violations of safety requirements, the duration of rest of employees and the failure to provide them with personal protective equipment, as well as a violation with safety instructions. 28 administrative cases were initiated.

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