The fire that broke out at the Kazakhstanskaya coal mine owned by ArcelorMittal Temirtau on August 17 is still burning, Emergency Situations Minister Syrym Sharipkhanov said.
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Sharipkhanov told a briefing in Karaganda on Monday that the fire at the Kazakhstanskaya mine had still not been extinguished due to challenging conditions within the emergency area.
"To address this, a strategic decision has been made to isolate the affected area by constructing 25 partitions designed to limit oxygen.
As of now, 18 of these structures have already been installed, with ongoing efforts to finish the rest of them," he said.
Sharipkhanov said the mine would resume operations after the successful completion of emergency rescue operations.
Sharipkhanov also said the government commission held ArcelorMittal as the employer, entirely responsible for the tragic incident at the Kazakhstanskaya mine, which resulted in the loss of five lives.
"Following the findings of the commission's investigation, it has been established that the employer bears full responsibility for the incident. Furthermore, the commission has identified 28 individuals who are accountable for law violations in connection with the incident," he said.
The minister said expert opinions attributed the coal conveyor fire to the friction between the conveyor belt and a jammed conveyor roller.
"The lack of effective production oversight by the engineering and technical staff at the Kazakhstanskaya mine, along with a failure to follow safety protocols and inadequate control over energy and mechanical maintenance, contributed to this unfortunate incident," he said.
"The violations of safety standards and technical regulations included the operation of a conveyor belt without a valid certificate of conformity.
"Additionally, elevated levels of dust in the work area and the presence of noxious gases resulting from combustion products and mine operations ultimately led to miners' deaths."
The commission also uncovered various infringements of labor laws, a shortage of specialists, and an absence of job descriptions.
The fire at the Kazakhstanskaya mine, part of ArcelorMittal Temirtau's coal department, originally broke out when a conveyor belt in the coal slope D6, at a depth of 170 meters, caught fire.
At the time of the incident, there were 227 individuals in the mine, with 222 safely evacuated. Five people were killed and 13 injured as a result of the incident. ■