NewsIncreasing casualties in Kazakhstan mine fire. Miners await rescue

Increasing casualties in Kazakhstan mine fire. Miners await rescue

A signboard 'The mine named Kostyenko'
A signboard 'The mine named Kostyenko'
Images source: © PAP | PAP/EPA/KAZAKHSTAN'S PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE HANDOUT
ed. MUP

9:54 AM EDT, October 28, 2023

On Saturday revealed details about the escalating death toll in the Kostenki mine fire in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. Twenty-one miners are now confirmed dead.

Out of the 252 miners, 208 have been rescued from underground with 18 requiring medical attention. The situation for the 23 miners yet to be rescued remains precarious. The mortal remains of 21 miners have been recovered and search operations are ongoing, states ArcelorMittal, the company owning the mine.

Kazakhstan's Office of the General Prosecutor announced that legal proceedings have been launched based on violations of mining or construction safety regulations.

Reporting on the incident, Radio Azattyk indicated that the accident occurred merely 2.5 months after a similar tragedy in another mine owned by the ArcelorMittal company, where five miners lost their lives. Similarly, in November of last year, another five casualties were reported in the mine named after Lenin. Furthermore, four fatalities ensued from an accident at a metallurgical plant controlled by the same multinational corporation.

Government severs ties

In light of frequent tragic incidents at facilities owned by ArcelorMittal, the authorities in Kazakhstan have accused the company of poor management and non-compliance with safety standards.

Kosovo-Jomart Tokayev, the President of Kazakhstan, instructed the government on Saturday to cease investment partnerships with the ArcelorMittal company. The government has announced steps have been taken for the restitution of the enterprise back to the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Radio Azattyk reported that ArcelorMittal Termitau, a company headed by Indian-origin British billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, had procured the company's assets during the widespread privatization that took place in the 90s.

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