Sunday February 25, 2024

15 die in dam collapse at Siberian gold mine

October 20, 2019

MOSCOW: Fifteen people were killed and another six still missing after an illegally built dam collapsed at a gold mine in a remote Siberian settlement on Saturday, in the latest deadly accident to hit Russia.

The dam on the Seiba River in the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk burst and flooded several cabins where more than 70 workers lived, Russian authorities said.

Icy and muddy floodwaters hit the cabins located near the village of Shchetinkino at around 6:00 am as the workers were resting.

About 300 people, six helicopters and six boats were involved in a search and rescue mission but the operation was to be suspended for the night, officials said.

Officials said the dam had been built in breach of safety rules and claimed that the authorities were not aware of its existence.

President Vladimir Putin ordered officials to provide assistance to the victims and identify the reasons for the accident, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Investigators said they have opened a criminal probe into a breach of safety rules.

Six people were still missing, Alyona Aleksishina, spokeswoman for the regional branch of the emergencies ministry, told AFP.

A total of 16 victims received medical aid, and four of them were airlifted to a regional hospital, authorities said.

A team of doctors including a neurosurgeon were dispatched to the scene from the city of Krasnoyarsk, which is located some 4,000 kilometres east of Moscow.