Information from the Emergency Response Center as of August 20 at 9.15 pm local time:
As of 7.40 pm local time, water in the open pit mine was at mark – 170.5, water volume was 12,080 cubic meters. Water level in the mine shaft at 8.49 pm was at mark –257.03.
Today’s main result is the decision to perform a number of focused explosions to expand the gap between the open pit and underground mine. The calculations made will ensure the safety of blasting operations to the lives of miners working underground.
This decision was made following the emergency meeting held by the Representatives of the Emergencies Ministry, Rostechnadzor, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Federal Security Service, NTC-Novotek, and Yakutniproalmaz Institute to adjust the search and rescue operation plan and work out measures to eliminate this threat. Rostechnadzor issued a relevant permit for the operation.
Yesterday’s and today’s attempts to control the water discharge have brought no results so far. There is a threat of flooding of the group of pumping units on level –210, and failure of electric power, ventilation, and lighting systems in case of immediate water discharge from the open pit mine. As a consequence, the search and rescue work in the mine will become impossible. Federal norms and regulations in the sphere of industrial safety (Instruction for localization and elimination of accidents consequences at hazardous production facilities where mining operations are conducted) bar the rescuers from working in the existing conditions.