27 Mar 2024 12:15

Managing director of Pioner mine in Russian Amur region taken into custody

BLAGOVESHCHENSK. March 27 (Interfax) - The managing director of the Pioner mine in the Russian Amur region, where rock collapse trapped 13 workers, has been arrested on a court order, the regional branch of the Russian Investigative Committee told Interfax.

"The managing director of the Pioner mine has been charged. A court upheld an investigator's motion and placed him under arrest until May 19," the committee said.

He is charged with a breach of operational safety regulations.

According to investigators, the defendant in charge of a hazardous industrial facility was aware of a body of water (a pit filled with water) on the mine grounds. Yet he did nothing to drain the pit, the pit burst, and water caused rock to collapse into the mine.

As reported, the Pioner mine managing director was detained on Monday on suspicion of breaching operational safety regulations.

Additionally, a criminal case was opened on negligence counts against officers of the Far Eastern division of the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision (Rostekhnadzor) who failed to uncover mine flaws during inspections.

Rock collapsed at the Pioner gold mine on March 18, trapping 13 workers inside.

Over 200 people are conducting the rescue operation with a variety of hardware, including four drilling rigs. A video camera used to examine the mine interior through the first drilled holes showed the absence of voids in the mine workings.

The fate of the trapped workers remains unknown.