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Methane blast at Mechel mine

01 October 2008

Mechel one of the leading Russian mining and metals companies, has reported that a flash of methane occurred at its Southern Kuzbass OAO coal subsidiary’s Lenin Mine, while repair work was being performed at the depth of 310 meters. At that time, 41miners were in the flash area. All of them safely rose to the mine’s surface. 17 miners were being treated for burns at local hospitals.

The production area is equipped with modern mining and face equipment. At the moment of the flash, in-seam degasification was being performed by means of a surface vacuum-pump station and a continuous feed of nitrogen with an inert foam to the face mined-out area through the nitrogen feeding pipes from the underground gasifier along the belt and air headings.

“Operations are currently being carried out to eliminate the accident’s after-effects according to the approved emergency plan. All mining operations at the mine have been suspended. Mechel OAO CEO Igor Zyuzin and Mechel Mining OAO CEO Igor Khafizov travelled to the place of the accident,” Mechel Management OOO
Chief Executive Officer Vladimir Polin commented.

The accident occurred as Mechel's share price plummeted dramatically in New York and Moscow after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin claimed that the company was selling raw materials at twice the price domestically as it was abroad. This was coupled with fresh accusations of tax evasion against the company by Putin.

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