2007 Zasyadko mine disaster

2007 Zasyadko mine disaster

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The 2007 Zasyadko mine disaster was a mining accident
Mining accident
A mining accident is an accident that occurs during the process of mining minerals.Thousands of miners die from mining accidents each year, especially in the processes of coal mining and hard rock mining...

 that happened on November 18, 2007 at the Zasyadko coal mine
Zasyadko coal mine
Zasyadko Mine is a coal mining company in Ukraine's eastern city of Donetsk. The manager and alleged owner of the company is Yukhym Zvyahilsky, influential businessman and politician within the Party of Regions...

  in the eastern Ukrainian
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 city of Donetsk
Donetsk
Donetsk , is a large city in eastern Ukraine on the Kalmius river. Administratively, it is a center of Donetsk Oblast, while historically, it is the unofficial capital and largest city of the economic and cultural Donets Basin region...

.

At present, 101 miners are dead:
the worst accident in Ukraine’s history. At the time of the explosion, 457 miners were in the complex.

Causes and investigation


The accident was caused by a methane
Methane
Methane is a chemical compound with the chemical formula . It is the simplest alkane, the principal component of natural gas, and probably the most abundant organic compound on earth. The relative abundance of methane makes it an attractive fuel...

 explosion located more than 1000 metres (3,281 ft) below ground level.

One of the most dangerous coal mines in the world, the Zasyadko Mine is equipped with up-to-date and permanently renovated safety-monitoring systems. However, an independent mining expert recently claimed that the company management, linked to a powerful local clan, interferes with hazard-measuring equipment on a permanent basis, in order to present underground situation as being within the safety standards
Safety standards
Safety standards are standards designed to ensure the safety of products, activities or processes, etc. They may be advisory or compulsory and are normally laid down by an advisory or regulatory body that may be either voluntary or statutory...

, and so to prevent production from closure by the government inspectors. President
President of Ukraine
Prior to the formation of the modern Ukrainian presidency, the previous Ukrainian head of state office was officially established in exile by Andriy Livytskyi. At first the de facto leader of nation was the president of the Central Rada at early years of the Ukrainian People's Republic, while the...

 Viktor Yushchenko
Viktor Yushchenko
Viktor Andriyovych Yushchenko is a former President of Ukraine. He took office on January 23, 2005, following a period of popular unrest known as the Orange Revolution...

 blamed the cabinet for failing to “implement safe mining practices” in the coal industry. A criminal investigation is also underway.

Government reaction


Families of the deceased miners will receive compensations totaling 100,000 hryvnias
Ukrainian hryvnia
The hryvnia, sometimes hryvnya or grivna ; sign: ₴, code: , has been the national currency of Ukraine since September 2, 1996. The hryvnia is subdivided into 100 kopiyok. In medieval times, it was a currency of Kievan Rus'....

, (approx. $20,000 USD
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

) which constitutes part of the 15 million hryvnias that the Cabinet of Ministers
Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine
The Cabinet of Ukraine is the highest body of state executive power in Ukraine also referred to as the Government of Ukraine...

 has set aside for renovation of the mine which would prevent future accidents from happening.

On November 19, 2007, President
President of Ukraine
Prior to the formation of the modern Ukrainian presidency, the previous Ukrainian head of state office was officially established in exile by Andriy Livytskyi. At first the de facto leader of nation was the president of the Central Rada at early years of the Ukrainian People's Republic, while the...

 Viktor Yushchenko
Viktor Yushchenko
Viktor Andriyovych Yushchenko is a former President of Ukraine. He took office on January 23, 2005, following a period of popular unrest known as the Orange Revolution...

 signed a decree that calls for investigation into Zasyadko mine disaster as well as prevention of such disasters in the future. The President also signed a decree making November 20 a Day of National Mourning.

Mining accidents trend



Within the past decade, the frequency of mining accidents has increased in the Donbas
Donets Basin
Donbas or Donbass , full rarely-used name Donets Basin , is a historical, economic and cultural region of eastern Ukraine. Originally a coal mining area, it has become a heavily industrialised territory suffering from urban decay and industrial pollution.-Geography:Donbas covers three...

 coal region. The Zasyadko mine accident is the deadliest ever accident in Ukraine, surpassing the Barakova Mine accident in 2000, which killed at least 80 workers.

The Zasyadko Mine, Ukraine's largest and most equipped mine, employs 10,000 people and produces up to 10,000 tons of coal per day. It has had four other major mining accidents in the past that killed more than 130 workers.

Recurring accidents


Twelve days later, on December 1, 2007, at 5:55 local time another methane explosion happened in the same mine section injuring 52 miners.

After this, at 21:20 local time on December 2, another explosion occurred, killing at least 5 workers and injuring 30 more.