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Explosion at Russian nickel mine kills four

10 July 2017

Four miners were killed in an explosion at the Zapolyarny Mine, part of the Polar Division of Norilsk Nickel. The accident happened during drifting activities carried out by Polar Construction Company, a contractor of Nornickel. The company blamed a build-up of methane, which ignited in the shaft. 

Norilsk Nickel mine
Norilsk Nickel mine

Several more workers were injured in the explosion, which occurred on July 7. All other miners were evacuated to the surface and all personnel have been accounted for, according to local news sources. Emergency services including medics and mine rescue teams were deployed to the site.

“Following this tragic accident our thoughts are with the families of our colleagues who have died and those injured. The company will provide all support we can offer to them. In the meantime our priority is on safe evacuation of other workers who were on site. This is a serious situation, but one for which the company has a prepared response plan which is now underway,” the company said in a July 7 press release. “Once this has been done we will then turn our attention to looking in more detail at what happened and drawing any appropriate lessons from it. Supplies to Nornickel customers will not be affected by suspension of work at this mine.”

Norilsk Nickel is the world's largest refined nickel and palladium producer. The Zapolyarny Mine produced 0.7% of its total nickel production last year and 2% of its copper, according to the Financial Times.

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