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Rescue team forced to give up hunt for four missing diamond miners; search still on for four more

By The Siberian Times reporter
15 August 2017

Appalling conditions in Alrosa's Mir mine forces end to search on submerged level 310 some 11 days after devastating flood.

Inside the mine. Picture: Yakutia Media

The pictures show the scale of the problems inside the mine amid claims that the authorities were warned of the dire risk of flooding shortly before the disaster.

Alrosa underground mine Mir was flooded with water from the open-pit mine on 4 August, and still today some 250,000 cubic metres of water is suspended in the giant hole - one of the largest in the world - above the underground tunnel network where the men were trapped and rescue efforts are now underway.




Problems inside the mine. Pictures: Yakutia Media

When the accident happened, there were 151 miners underground. 

A total of 142 miners were safely evacuated on the same day, and one more was pulled to safety the following day. 

Since then there has been a 24/7 hunt for the missing eight miners believed to be in two locations, four on level 310 and four more at level 210.

Since then there has been a 24/7 hunt for the missing eight miners believed to be in two locations, four on level 310 and four more at level 210. Picture: Yakutia Media

The search at level 210 is continuing. 

Alrosa said: 'It is impossible for rescuers to descend down to level 310 as it threatens their lives. 

'The rescue activities on level 310 have been stopped.'

Water was one metre deep 'making it too risky' for rescuers. 



Problems inside the mine. Picture: Yakutia Media

It was revealed that a complaint warning of the dire threat of flooding to President Vladimir Putin from a woman in Mirny just days before the accident was passed on to regional officials.

Written on 29 July, she said that the Mir mine had suffered flooding for four days. 

Alrosa's Mir mine. Picture: Maria Vasiliyeva.

'Management keeps silence and is doing nothing,' she wrote. 

'Workers cover the signs of flooding and fix problems.

'I am asking you to solve this complex problem.

'Why was it built on a river?

'I have video about flooding in the mine.' 

This complaint was forwarded to administration of the head of Yakutia, and then to local department of watchdog Rostekhnadzor, revealed Vesti Yakutia. 

Alrosa has no plans to change its 2017 production plan despite an accident at its Mir underground mine in eastern Siberia, the company said this week.

The company is the world's largest producer of rough diamonds in carat terms. 

With Anglo American's De Beers, the two firms produce about half of the world's rough diamonds. 

Comments (1)

was it a mud flow from above ? It looks bad, hopefully, the four are found in some pocket, alive.
Saibubba, california usa
15/08/2017 23:11
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