MOSCOW, March 31 (RIA Novosti) – Rescuers have found the body of the last of the four miners who went missing following a flood at a coalmine in southwestern Siberia's Kemerovo Region, Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said on Sunday.
A total of 143 people were working underground when water flooded the Osinnikovskaya coalmine late on Tuesday, apparently because of construction work, according to the local administration. Four miners could not be located, while the others escaped safely.
One body was recovered on Thursday morning. The bodies of two other missing miners were found on Friday and Saturday.
“As of 08:30 a.m. Moscow time [Sunday] … the body of the fourth miner missing at the Osinnikovskaya mine has been discovered. Recovery work in the mine is continuing,” the ministry said in a statement.
The regional branch of Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said the body of the last missing miner had not been retrieved yet.
Work at the mine has been suspended, while rescuers continue to pump water from the flooded sections. A criminal case has been opened into the violation of safety rules during mining works that has caused the deaths of people.
Kemerovo Region Governor Aman Tuleyev has ordered the heads of local mining companies to conduct safety checks at the region’s mines. Kemerovo is part of Russia’s major coal-producing Kuzbass region.
Mine safety conditions in Russia have often been a cause for concern. In 2010, a total of 91 workers died in twin methane gas explosions at a mine owned by the Raspadskaya company in the Kemerovo Region.
Most recently, a gas blast at the Vorkutinskaya coalmine in Russia’s northern republic of Komi in February 2013 killed 18 miners.