Water level is increasing in the Mir open-pit mine (Yakutia), where it is six days since the search for eight miners started. Ground waters are gradually filling the mine workings. To make the rescue operation more effective, the combined teams of mine rescuers from EMERCOM of Russia and ALROSA’s miners go underground.
Vladlen Aksenov, Deputy Emergency Minister, who came to the mine together with rescuers and miners on the first day of the rescue operation, spent a five-hour shift underground and personally assessed the situation, its safety for the accident elimination team. “To understand the situation, you need to see everything with your own eyes – the damage and scope of work to be done, to assess the situation – whether it is safe for mine rescuers or not. I found it necessary to personally go underground and inspect the location of works. The situation is difficult – there are multiple debris and blockages, large clay plugs. Most mine workings are completely flooded, but we continue the rescue operation,” says Vladlen Aksenov.
Having inspected the mine workings we found that the mine inflow continues, the hydrological situation is worsening. The area of the rescue operation must be protected from water. The Company’s specialists are performing auxiliary tasks, such as the functioning of mine life-support systems, delivery and assembly of the necessary equipment, and many other works. “Several powerful pumps were installed in a record time to dewater the mine. It usually takes months to carry out these works, but in this situation all technical and human resources were mobilized. More than 50 people from our four enterprises installed the pumps in 72 hours,” commented ALROSA President Sergey Ivanov.
The total grouping involved in the elimination of the accident is 320 people, 170 of which are EMERCOM specialists sent to Mirny from various regions.