Siberian mine disaster kills more than 100, rescuers search for survivors
The world may be addicted to oil, but it’s coal that’s doing us in. An explosion at a Siberian coal mine on Monday killed 106 workers, and rescuers were still searching for a handful of missing people today. While 93 lucky bastards escaped with their lives, the accident — caused by a build-up of methane at a depth of nearly 890 feet — is said to be Russia’s worst mining disaster in a decade. So, must have been a creaky, outdated, unsafe facility, right? Nyet. The mine, about 2,000 miles east of Moscow, opened in 2002 and was equipped with state-of-the-art technology. In fact, the victims of the explosion included a British engineer, his interpreter, and 20 members of the mine’s senior management team, who were apparently there to inspect or install an English-made hazard monitoring system. Alexander Sergeyev, chair of the Independent Coal Miners’ Union, called for new methane-ventilation laws and criticized quota systems that pressure miners to work too quickly. But: coal mining? Still crazy.