At least 15 people were killed as a result of dam failure at a gold mine in the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk early Saturday. About 300 people, six helicopters and six boats were involved in a search and rescue mission, the emergencies ministry said, but the operation was challenging because of the remote location the Russian emergencies ministry said.
The collapse happened at about 2 a.m. Moscow time near one of the small local gold mining companies’ operations, the ministry said. Another 13 people are still missing as emergency services continue rescue work.
Regional governor Alexander Uss said in televised remarks that some 80 people lived in the temporary settlement south of the city of Krasnoyarsk. Investigators said separately 14 workers were hospitalised. More than 270 people were involved in a search-and-rescue operation, the emergencies ministry said. Investigators said they opened a criminal probe into the violation of safety rules.
The water damaged temporary shelters where miners were sleeping, the Moscow-based news agency Interfax reported, citing unidentified local officials. As many as 80 people were in the shelters at the time. The dam wasn’t registered with the Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service and was illegal, the newswire said, citing unidentified representatives of the watchdog. Prosecutors have opened an investigation into the case.
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