Zasyadko coal mine

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Zasyadko coal mine
Zasyadko.jpg
Eastern shaft of the Zasyadko Mine photographed in 2007. 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. Following the start of the War in Donbass in 2014 the mine became situated in rebel controlled territory.[1]

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.[2]

History[edit]

Production at the mine began in 1958,[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.[3] 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 Party of Regions.[5][6][7]

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.[3][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.[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:

  • May 24, 1999 – 50 workers killed, 40 injured.[8][10][11]
  • August 19, 2001 – 55 workers killed, 34 injured.[12]
  • July 31, 2002 – 20 workers killed, two injured.[13]
  • September 20, 2006 – 13 workers killed, 61 injured.[14]
  • November 18, 2007 – 101 workers killed, dozens injured (2007 Zasyadko mine disaster).[2]
  • December 1, 2007 – 52 workers injured.[15][16]
  • December 2, 2007 – five workers killed, 30 injured.[17]
  • March 4, 2015 - seventeen workers killed, 15 missing. (2015 Zasyadko mine disaster).[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ukraine gas blast: 30 feared dead in Zasyadko coal mine". BBC News. 4 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
    Ukraine conflict: Evacuation planned in frontline town of Avdiivka, BBC News 31 January 2017
  2. ^ a b "Four dead in Ukraine mine blast", BBC News, December 2, 2007
  3. ^ a b c d 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)
  4. ^ Бизнес-досье Шахта им. Засядько, ОП Archived January 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ a b Бизнес-досье Звягильский Ефим Леонидович Archived August 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Звягільський Юхим Леонідович Archived December 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. 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[permanent dead link] (TSN news on Channel 1+1), November 22, 2007 (video of the report[permanent dead link])
  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. ^ Ukraine mine blast kills 36 BBC News
  13. ^ At Least 19 Killed in Ukraine Mine Explosion New York Times
  14. ^ Soviet Coal Mine Accidents Kill 45 Washington Post
  15. ^ 4 killed in new explosion at coal mine that was site of Ukraine's worst mining disaster - International Herald Tribune
  16. ^ Корреспондент » Украина » События » Из шахты Засядько на поверхность выведены все горняки
  17. ^ Корреспондент » Украина » События » Число погибших на шахте им. Засядько возросло до 5 человек
  18. ^ Ukraine gas blast: 30 feared dead in Zasyadko coal mine BBC News