An underground smoke alarm has prompted the evacuation of some 120 miners from the “Komsomolskaya” coal mine located outside Vorkuta, a city in Russia’s Far North, local media reported.
“Smoke having been detected inside a defunct tunnel at a depth of 705 meters, 118 miners are being lifted up [from the coal mine],” a source the in local emergency service told RIA Novosti on Thursday. Five rescue crews have arrived at the mine owned by the Vorkutaugol mining company, he said, adding that the cause of the smoke alarm is being investigated.
The local branch of the Emergencies Ministry later confirmed the evacuation. The company has also said “workers’ safety is not in danger.”
Incidents involving coal mines have occasionally taken place in Russia. In 2016, over 100 miners were promptly evacuated from the “Zarechenskaya” mine in the Kemerovo region of Western Siberia due to an underground fire, but the incident proved to be less severe than initially feared.
Later in the year, two underground blasts killed 36 people inside the “Severnaya” coal mine near Vorkuta. The first blast killed four miners and trapped 26 people in one of the tunnels. The second killed five rescuers and one miner; the Emergencies Ministry later confirmed that none of the 26 miners trapped by the first blast had survived.