Methane outburst is viewed as likely cause behind deadly blast at Listvyazhnaya coalmine
"According to preliminary information, there was a sudden outburst of methane and it was followed by a blast," he said. "However, the actual cause of the outburst has not been established as of yet and relevant investigative bodies are working to define it."
The source also said that the operational work of all sensors at the coalmine would be studied as well in regard to figures of methane concentration at the time of the incident.
"The work in this regard is currently underway as well," he stated.
A fire at the Listvyzhnaya mine in Kuzbass’ Belovsky district was reported to erupt on Thursday morning. According to the Emergencies Ministry, 285 miners were trapped in the coalmine at the time of the accident. A total of 239 people were evacuated from the mine.
According to the latest data 51 people, including five rescuers, were killed in the accident, while 64 more were reported to sustain injuries.
Two criminal cases have been opened over breaches of industrial safety requirements and negligence causing the miners’ death. According to Russia’s Deputy Prosecutor General Dmitry Demeshin, the accident could have been caused by a methane gas explosion.