Published: Mon, October 21, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Dam Collapses at Russian Gold Mine, Killing at Least 15 People

Dam Collapses at Russian Gold Mine, Killing at Least 15 People

The Emergencies Ministry also said seven people were unaccounted for after the dam collapse, Russian news reports said.

Neighboring regions have sent rescuers to the site of the incident for disaster relief operations, the ministry said.

"We don't know yet exactly how many people were inside, nobody did a count", the agency said in a statement, according to The Siberian Times.

Dozens of emergency workers have been searching for the missing and have been helping the injured.

The mine was in a remote location about 160km (100 miles) south of the city of Krasnoyarsk, itself some 4,000km (2,500 miles) east of Moscow.

A criminal investigation into workplace safety violations has been opened, officials say.

An unidentified worker from the mine told Govorit Moskva, a Moscow-based radio station, that people had been caught by surprise.

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The employee said that four of these dams in the region were built over three decades back, adding that smaller breaches had occurred previously.

The dam was built in violation of "every single norm," said the head of the local government, Yury Lapshin.

Heavy rains apparently caused erosion of the dam, Interfax quoted a local official as saying.

"Twenty people were injured, including six people who died and 14 people who were hospitalized".

Searches were held at the Krasnoyarsk office of the dam's owner, the Sisim gold mining company (part of the Sibzoloto holding). Last year, Russian Federation unearthed a total of 314 tons of gold.

The tragedy drew fresh attention to mining practices in Russian Federation, which holds some of the largest gold reserves in the world.

Numerous leading regional officials such as governor Alexander Uss, prosecutors and inspectors went into the scene of this catastrophe.

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