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Gas blast rocks nickel mine near Russia’s Norilsk

Staff Writer |
A gas blast has rocked a copper-nickel mine near the Russian city of Norilsk trapping 140 miners, a source in the emergency services of the Krasnoyarsk Region told PRIME on Friday.

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“We are evacuating 135, and we’ve lost contact with five more. There was a gas blast. They produce copper-nickel ore,” the person said.

The Central Investigation Department of the region’s Investigative Committee said that the blast happened in the shaft of the Zapolyarny mine of metals giant Norilsk Nickel, and 123 people were evacuated from the mine, while four others were missing.

“An investigation and operational group is working at the site, trying to establish all circumstances of the incident,” the person said.

“According to preliminary data, vapors of methane exploded during construction works. Preliminary data show that three workers died at the site of the blast and several others were injured. The information is being checked,” the company said.

“We are now carrying all necessary rescue operations, we are investigating the causes of the accident. All injured people are now being treated,” the company said citing Sergei Gradyushko, a deputy CEO for labor protection and security of the polar division of Norilsk Nickel.

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