45 Miners Killed in Methane Gas Explosion

More than 200 workers were evacuated from the mine to safety.

Powder Bulk Solids Staff

October 30, 2023

1 Min Read
There is an ongoing criminal investigation happening.Image courtesy of agnormark / iStock / Getty Images Plus

At least 45 coal miners were killed in a fire sparked by a methane gas explosion at a mine in Kazakhstan on Saturday, country authorities in the country said.

In a statement, the Ministry for Emergency Situations said the blast sparked a blaze early on Saturday at the Kostenko mine in the Karaganda region, state-owned Kazinform news agency reported.

More than 200 people were evacuated from the mine to safety, and search efforts are ongoing for one missing miner, the ministry said.

The mine is owned by Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest producer of steel, and run by its local representative ArcelorMittal Temirtau, which operates multiple coal and iron ore mines across Kazakhstan.

On its website, CEO Aditya Mittal stated, "A tragic accident took place at the Kostenko coal mine, part of our Temirtau operations in Kazakhstan. At the time of writing there are 44 confirmed fatalities, with two miners still missing. There were 252 people underground at the time of the explosion."

Operations at the company's eight mines in the Karaganda region have been suspended and a criminal investigation has been opened by the General Prosecutor’s Office.

ArcelorMittal has owned the mines in Kazakhstan since 1995.

In a statement following the blast, the mining company said it had recently signed a preliminary agreement with the Kazakh government to transfer ownership of ArcelorMittal Temirtau to Kazakhstan and was “committed to completing this transaction as soon as possible.”

“Both parties are very much focused on an outcome that is in the best interests of the people who work at the steel plant and iron-ore and coal mines, as well as the communities the operations support,” the statement said.

About the Author(s)

Powder Bulk Solids Staff

Established in 1983, Powder & Bulk Solids (PBS) serves industries that process, handle, and package dry particulate matter, including the food, chemical, and pharmaceutical markets.

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