2007 Zasyadko mine disaster

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Eastern shaft of the Zasyadko coal mine. Local cemetery seen on the foreground is the burial place for most of the victims.
Location of Donetsk (red) and Donetsk Oblast (pink) on the map of Ukraine.

Coordinates: 48°03′14″N 37°47′13″E / 48.054°N 37.787°E / 48.054; 37.787 The 2007 Zasyadko mine disaster was a mining accident that happened on November 18, 2007 at the Zasyadko coal mine (Ukrainian: Шахта ім. Засядько) in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk.

At present, 101 miners are dead:[1] the worst accident in Ukraine’s history. At the time of the explosion, 457 miners were in the complex.[2][3]

Causes and investigation[edit]

The accident was caused by a methane explosion located more than 1,000 metres (3,281 ft) below ground level.[4]

One of the most dangerous coal mines in the world,[5] the Zasyadko Mine is equipped with up-to-date and permanently renovated safety-monitoring systems.[6] However, an independent mining expert recently claimed that the company management, linked to a powerful local clan, interferes with hazard-measuring equipment on a permanent basis, in order to present underground situation as being within the safety standards, and so to prevent production from closure by the government inspectors.[7] President Viktor Yushchenko blamed the cabinet for failing to “implement safe mining practices” in the coal industry.[4] A criminal investigation is also underway.

Government reaction[edit]

Families of the deceased miners will receive compensations totaling 100,000 hryvnias,[8] (approx. $20,000 USD) which constitutes part of the 15 million hryvnias that the Cabinet of Ministers has set aside for renovation of the mine which would prevent future accidents from happening.[9]

On November 19, 2007, President Viktor Yushchenko signed a decree that calls for investigation into Zasyadko mine disaster as well as prevention of such disasters in the future.[10] The President also signed a decree making November 20 a Day of National Mourning.[11]

Mining accidents trend[edit]

Within the past decade, the frequency of mining accidents has increased in the Donbas coal region. The Zasyadko mine accident is the deadliest ever accident in Ukraine, surpassing the Barakova Mine accident in 2000, which killed at least 80 workers.[4]

The Zasyadko Mine, Ukraine's largest and most equipped mine, employs 10,000 people and produces up to 10,000 tons of coal per day.[12] It has had four other major mining accidents in the past that killed more than 130 workers.[13][14]

Recurring accidents[edit]

Twelve days later, on December 1, 2007, at 5:55 local time another methane explosion happened in the same mine section injuring 52 miners. [15] After this, at 21:20 local time on December 2, another explosion occurred,[16] killing at least 5 workers and injuring 30 more.[17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hospitalized miner died". Korrespondent (in Russian). November 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  2. ^ Korneychuk, Dmitriy (November 18, 2007). "Methane blast at the mine of Zasyadko". Gazeta po-Kievskiy (in Russian). Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  3. ^ "Yushchenko goes to Donetsk with a pain in his heart". Korrespondent (in Russian). November 18, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  4. ^ a b c "Ukraine's mine death toll rises". BBC News. November 20, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-20. 
  5. ^ Шахта им. А.Ф.Засядько в Донецке. Справка RIA Novosti, November 19, 2007
  6. ^ Метан, или "гремучий газ". Смертельный враг шахтера RIA Novosti, November 18, 2007
  7. ^ Перша версія трагедії у Донецьку (TSN news on Channel 1+1), November 22, 2007 (video of the report)
  8. ^ "The number of killed miners in the Zasyadko mine reaches 63". Korrespondent (in Russian). November 18, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  9. ^ "Body count reaches 90". Korrespondent (in Russian). November 20, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-20. 
  10. ^ Laws of Ukraine. Presidential decree No. 7014: On the emergency procedures on resolving the aftermath of the accident at the Zasyadko Mine. Passed on 2007-11-19. (Ukrainian)
  11. ^ "Tomorrow- Day of National Mourning". Korrespondent (in Russian). November 19, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  12. ^ "Ukraine mine blast kills 65". Agence France-Presse. November 18, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  13. ^ "The cause of a Donetsk mine tragedy is announced". Korrespondent (in Russian). September 20, 2006. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  14. ^ "Zasyadko mine. Black chronologies". Korrespondent (in Russian). November 19, 2006. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  15. ^ "All miners evacuated". Korrespondent (in Russian). December 1, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  16. ^ "Another explosion on Zasyadko mine". Korrespondent (in Russian). December 1, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  17. ^ "The number of killed workers at the Zasyadko mine increased to 5". Korrespondent (in Russian). December 2, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-02.