Eighty-eight miners have been killed in workplace accidents in Russia this year. Leonid Tropko, deputy chief of the Energy Ministry of the Russian Federation, gave the figure at a press conference here Monday, Rosbalt reported. The figure already tops the figure in that tragic category for all of 2002, he said. In all, last year 85 miners died in workplace accidents. At the same time, Tropko noted, the number of lethal accidents and accidents in general in the sector are down by about 75% since 1998.
The deputy minister underscored that the problem is 'not a purely Russian phenomenon.' 'Thus, between January and May 2003, according to the International Coal Monitoring Agency, an international organization that tracks the safety of the mining industry, there were 385,000 coal-mine accidents,' he said. In all, as a result of explosions, failures to follow safety guidelines and other reasons, 48,504 miners died in the period.