Dam collapse at Russian gold mine kills at 15 people

October 21, 2019

A dam collapse at a gold mine in Siberia has left at least 15 people dead and 13 more missing, according to a report by the BBC.

The collapse happened following heavy rains in the region of Krasnoyarsk in Russia. The dam was on the Seiba river and the collapse flooded cabins where workers at the mine lived.

Russia's health ministry said 14 miners were taken to hospital, including three with severe injuries.

A criminal investigation has been opened over allegations the dam violated safety regulations.

"The hydro-technical facility was self-constructed and, I believe, all rules I can and cannot think of were violated," Yuri Lapshin, the head of the Krasnoyarsk regional government, was quoted by RIA news agency as saying.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered officials to provide assistance and investigate the reasons behind the accident, his spokesman has said.

Several small cabins, where workers are thought to have lived, were swept away by the flood waters, the Interfax news agency reported.

The mine was in a remote location about 160km (100 miles) south of the city of Krasnoyarsk, itself some 4,000 km (2,500 miles) east of Moscow.

Dozens of emergency workers have been searching for the missing and have been helping the injured.

Interfax said the miners were part of Siberian privately-held Sibzoloto, which unites several artisanal mining teams.

Sibzoloto produced about three tonnes of gold in 2018, Sergei Kashuba, the head of Russia’s Gold Industrialists’ Union, a non-government producers’ lobby group, told Reuters. Sibzoloto is not a member of the union.

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