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16 miners missing after flood in Siberian diamond mine

04 August 2017

Rescue teams are searching for 16 workers missing in the Mir diamond mine in eastern Siberia after water flooded the shaft on August 4. The Russian state-owned operator, Alrosa, said 102 miners had been brought to the surface and another 33 miners had been located in the mine and were being evacuated. There were 151 workers underground when the accident happened.

Mir mine - Image: Alrosa
Mir mine - Image: Alrosa

Alrosa chief executive Sergei Ivanov has flown to the mine, which is in the Republic of Sakha in Yakutia. The mine is 525 metres deep, has a diameter of 1,200 metres, and is one of the largest excavated holes in the world.

The emergency situations ministry's branch in Sakha said groundwater had flooded one of the mine's pumping stations from an opencast pit nearby, and the mine’s rescue brigade was carrying out operations to evacuate the miners. No casualties have been reported so far.

Alrosa is the world's largest producer of rough diamonds and the Mir mine accounts for some 9% of the group’s gem quality rough diamond production.

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