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46 workers dead in Kazakhstan mine after explosion – Shock wave felt 2 km radius

Forty-six workers in mine of the ArcelorMittal steel plant in Kazakhstan were killed in the explosion that occurred overnight Friday into Saturday, the worst industrial accident recorded in this Central Asian country since its independence from the Soviet Union.

“The bodies of 45 workers and limbs of a 46th victim have been found,” Kazakh Emergencies Minister Sirim Shariphanov said. After the tragedy, which occurred on the night of Friday to Saturday at the Kostenko mine in the city of Karaganda, the government of Kazakhstan and the company ArcelorMittal announced that they had reached an agreement on the nationalization of the subsidiary of the global steel giant.

The company, which is based in Luxembourg, is often criticized by its authorities Kazakhstan for non-compliance with safety and environmental regulations, while other accidents have occurred in its mines.

In mid-August five workers at a different ArcelorMittal mine in Kazakhstan died in an accident. “The company did not fulfill its obligations. We are finalizing the agreement for the transfer of ArcelorMittal Temirtau to Kazakhstan,” Kazakh Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov clarified today, without giving any further details, reports APE-MPE.

At her moment explosionthe shock wave of which was felt in a radius of two kilometers, 252 workers were underground and 206 managed to return to the surface. “This tragedy is directly linked to the violations of safety rules. The management of the company is responsible above all for the error,” Smailov complained, while the unions of the mine workers are asking the government to tighten controls.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 about 200 mine workers have died in Kazakhstan, the vast majority of them in mines owned by ArcelorMittal, which has been active in the country since 1995 and operates about 15 factories and mines in the central part of Kazakhstan, a country rich in natural resources.

Source: News Beast

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