Ukrainian mines are considered to be the most dangerous in the world. This proved again to be totally correct. There were 70 miners in the drifts of the mine Medvedeyarskaya (which is situated in the town of Aleksandriya of the Kirovograd region) when a fire suddenly started in a conveyer section; as a result, the conveyer belt started to burn. It became possible to evacuate the miners in a timely manner and to avoid victims. No one suffered.
As the Ukrainian Emergency Situations Ministry informed, 44 firefighters and nine fire-fighting vehicles extinguished the fire. The work of the mine was stopped and a special commission was set up to investigate the incident.
The reason for all of these mining troubles is the lack of state subsidies in the mining field; they are being cut, the equipment is worn out, and the level of safety measures is minimal. There are 209 mines in Ukraine, 75% of which are referred to the first category – the increased danger of methane explosion, and 35% have the danger of slack explosion. Fifty-five miners died as a result of an explosion on Zasyadko mine on August 19.
The Ukrainian Council for National Security and Defense criticized the Ministry for Fuel and Eergy for the absence of measures to raise the safety level in the mines. Between November 13-15, the miners held a meeting in front of the premises of the cabinet of ministers and the parliament of the country, asking to pay salary debts to them.
The fire that has recently taken place in one of Ukraine’s mines will hardly change anything. The miners crossed themselves again, and the officials sighed with relief, that is all. -dos-
Alexander Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2001/11/27/34269.html