At least 11 people are dead and dozens are trapped after a coal mine collapsed in Russia, officials said on Tuesday.
The mine in Yakutia, a province in Russia’s north, was operated by the state-owned federal mining company Sibir Energy, The Siberian Times reported.
“It is known that 11 people have died at the scene while 29 of the survivors are being treated in medical facilities for their injuries. Search operations are still ongoing in order to rescue and recover anyone who may be trapped,” the government-run Emergency Situations Ministry said in a statement.
The mine was operating in condition that the authorities could not inspect it due to an iron curtain in the area. Authorities found a lax attitude by supervisors and cited them for negligence as well.
The accident occurred when a high-pressure pipe was being carried in a steel container. The pipe kept moving backwards and landed right inside the coal mine, trapping it beneath 4.5 feet of water, the reports said.
“There is not enough water, so they have pulled out people in small groups from a way near the pipe,” an employee told the Russian news agency Interfax.
The mine has 23 mining licenses, of which 17 are inactive.
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