Zasyadko coal mine

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Zasyadko coal mine
Zasyadko.jpg
Eastern shaft of the Zasyadko Mine. Local cemetery seen on the foreground.
Location
Oblast Donetsk
Country Ukraine
Production
Products Coal
History
Opened December 31, 1958 (as Hilka-Hlyboka)
Owner
Company Public Stock Society Zasyadko Mine
Website zasyadko.net
Year of acquisition 1992
Location of Donetsk (red) and Donetsk Oblast (pink) on the map of Ukraine.

Zasyadko Mine (Ukrainian: Шахта ім. Засядька) is a coal mining company in Ukraine's eastern city of Donetsk. The manager and alleged owner of the company is Yukhym Zvyahilsky, influential businessman and politician within the Party of Regions. Along with its economic, technological and political importance, the company, namely its coal mine, is infamous for being the site of repeated mining accidents with numerous fatalities. The deadliest disaster, the worst in Ukraine’s history, happened on November 18, 2007, killing 101 miners.[1]

History[edit]

Production at the mine began in 1958,[2] which makes Zasyadko one of the newest and best-equipped mines in Donbas coal region and the whole Ukraine.[3] Since foundation, the mine is named after Alexander Zasyadko, one of the Soviet Ministers of Coal Industry.

In 1992, Zasyadko Mine was turned into a "rented enterprise" (practically privatised by the employees) together with several auxiliary industries.[2] Yukhym Zvyahilsky, the then-manager of the mine and influential local businessman, retained his post and gained informal control of the new company's assets.[4][5] Mr. Zvyahilsky has been the acting Prime Minister of Ukraine for a short time in early 1990s and a member of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of all convocations. He is known as an influential member of the ruling Party of Regions.[5][6][7]

Today, Zasyadko is one of the most successful companies in Ukraine's crumbling coal industry,[3] able to support high volumes of coal excavation and maintain stable salaries for the miners. As of 2003, the company produced 4 million tonnes of coal.[2] It has also expanded into other fields of local industry and commerce.[4]

Mining dangers[edit]

The Zasyadko Mine is one of the most dangerous coal mines in the world due to naturally high levels of gas (particularly methane) and coal dust explosion hazards.[2][8] Additionally, gradual exhaustion made the mine as large as having 6 shafts and, most importantly, very deep. As of 2004, depths of excavation varied from 529m to 1270m.[2] According to the management, the mine is equipped with up-to-date and continuously renovated safety-monitoring systems.[3]

However, an independent mining expert recently claimed that the company is interfering with its hazard-measuring equipment on a regular basis, in order to present underground situation as being within the safety standards, and so to prevent closure by the government inspectors.[9] President Yushchenko blamed the cabinet for failing to “implement safe-mining practices” in the coal industry.[10]

Accidents[edit]

The Zasyadko Mine has had seven serious mining accidents:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Four dead in Ukraine mine blast", BBC News, December 2, 2007
  2. ^ a b c d e Гірничий енциклопедичний словник, т. 3. / За ред. В. С. Білецького. — Донецьк: Східний видавничий дім, 2004. — 752 с. ISBN 966-7804-78-X (Mining dictionary, Ukrainian language)
  3. ^ a b c Метан, или "гремучий газ". Смертельный враг шахтера RIA Novosti, November 18, 2007
  4. ^ a b Бизнес-досье Шахта им. Засядько, ОП
  5. ^ a b Бизнес-досье Звягильский Ефим Леонидович
  6. ^ Звягільський Юхим Леонідович Verkhovna Rada official dossier
  7. ^ Unofficial dossier
  8. ^ a b Шахта им. А.Ф.Засядько в Донецке. Справка RIA Novosti, November 19, 2007
  9. ^ Перша версія трагедії у Донецьку (TSN news on Channel 1+1), November 22, 2007 (video of the report)
  10. ^ a b "Ukraine's mine death toll rises". BBC News. November 20, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-20. 
  11. ^ Korneychuk, Dmitriy (November 18, 2007). "Methane blast at the mine of Zasyadko". Gazeta po-Kievskiy (in Russian). Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  12. ^ 4 killed in new explosion at coal mine that was site of Ukraine's worst mining disaster - International Herald Tribune
  13. ^ Корреспондент » Украина » События » Из шахты Засядько на поверхность выведены все горняки
  14. ^ Корреспондент » Украина » События » Число погибших на шахте им. Засядько возросло до 5 человек