Criminal case opened into deadly blast at Akhmetov-owned mine

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July 29, 2011, 11:17 a.m. | Ukraine | Politics — by Kyiv Post

The Prosecutor's Office has opened a criminal case into the explosion in Sukhodilska-Skhidna coal mine.

Kyiv Post

The Prosecutor's Office of Luhansk region has opened a criminal case into the explosion in Sukhodilska-Skhidna coal mine run by Krasnodonugol coal company in Luhansk region, which killed 16 pitmen. The mine is owned by Rinat Akhmetov, Ukranie's richest man. It is a part of Akhmetov's Krasnodonugol (Krasnodonvuhillia in Ukrainian) coal company, which is a leading coal producer in Ukranie and operates a handful of mines. In turn, Krasnodonugol is a part of Akhmetov's Metinvest steel holding, the largest steel producer in Ukraine.

The proceedings were launched under part 2 of Article 273 of the Criminal Code (violation of safety rules by officials at explosive hazardous factories, which resulted in deaths), the media relations department of the General Prosecutor's Office reported on Friday.

At the instruction of Acting Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka his deputy Yuriy Udartsov left for the scene of the accident.

President Viktor Yanukovych has instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to create a Government commission to investigate causes of an explosion at a coal mine in the Luhansk region, president's official website reported. He was also expected to fly to the site later in the day Yanukovych has also offered condolences to families of the miners killed in the accident.

Ukraine's energy minister Yury Boiko went to the scene of the accident at the coal mine, part of the Krasnodonugol mining company, to personally take charge of the rescue operation.

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