Search for Miners Called Off After Landslide

Search for Miners Called Off After Landslide

( – Russian emergency services have ended their search for survivors two weeks after a landslide trapped 13 men in a gold mine near the Chinese border. Operator Pokrovsky Mine announced the decision to end the rescue operation on April 1, saying any possible enclaves the men could have taken refuge in had been flooded, making their deaths inevitable. It said the rescue mission was too dangerous to continue.

As reported by Al Jazeera, a Kremlin spokesman described the development as “not good news” and said all possible measures had been taken, “but the situation is what it is.” The region’s governor expressed condolences for the loss but said the rescuers had already placed their lives on the line to no avail. He added that the miners’ families would receive financial assistance.

Around 200 emergency workers began the mission on March 18, hoping to drill through rock and reach the 13 miners trapped around 400 feet underground. They used pumps to remove the water, but this proved too challenging. Water continued to enter the underground caverns, increasing the risk of further collapses.

While landfall is believed to have caused the tragedy, investigations are ongoing, and officials suspect safety measures may have been ignored.

According to Al Jazeera, mining accidents are not rare in Russia, and officials say lax safety adherence is often to blame. In a second incident in March, one person died when rocks collapsed on an iron mine in the central Sverdlovsk region.

One mining disaster occurred in 2021 at the Listvyazhnaya facility, around 3,000 miles from Moscow. Fifty-one people died, including five rescue workers, when coal dust caught fire in a ventilation shaft, suffocating rescuers attempting to gain access. However, 49 people did make it out alive, most suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation.

Russia has one of the world’s largest mining industries and enjoys substantial government investment. The vast country is believed to hold around $75 trillion in natural resources.

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