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When the diamonds no longer glitter: tragic search ends for eight trapped miners

By The Siberian Times reporter
26 August 2017

Alrosa calls off heroic hunt for workers trapped deep underground by tidal wave of flooding at Mir mine in Yakutia.

Alrosa president Sergei Ivanov said: 'I have to say with a heavy heart that there is no hope left to lift the workers remaining in the mine to the surface'

Twenty two days after a flood at the diamond mine, the search for the trapped miners was ended amid acute danger for rescuers. 

Gem giant Alrosa had already abandoned a search of a level in the mine where four of the lost workers were believed to have been trapped. 

'Three weeks have passed since the accident,' said a statement from the company. 

'Medical experts believe that a human cannot survive for so long without water or food in humid conditions.'

There was a dire risk of water cascading through the tunnels from the giant open cast hole above the mine where the men were lost.

Some 37,400 cubic metres of water had accumulated in the crater and 'the threat of a flash flood' meant it was 'impossible' to continue the rescue. 

The company has been searching for the men since the accident on 4 August.

When the diamonds no longer glitter: tragic search ends for eight trapped miners

Alrosa president Sergei Ivanov said: 'I have to say with a heavy heart that there is no hope left to lift the workers remaining in the mine to the surface.

'We are deeply shaken by what happened.'

Rescuers had risked their lives clearing silt blocking the tunnels in a brave attempt to find the men.

But they had never managed to make contact with the missing men. 

Alrosa will pay a total of 14.4 million rubles (about $245,000) to the relatives of the eight men lost.

Some 151 people were working at the site, of whom 142 managed to get out immediately.

Another miner emerged a day later, suffering from hypothermia and pneumonia.

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