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Work suspended at 33 Russian mines - watchdog

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Russia's technological watchdog has suspended work at 33 mines for five days due to breaches in work safety, Rostekhnadzor said Monday.
MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's technological watchdog has suspended work at 33 mines for five days due to breaches in work safety, Rostekhnadzor said Monday.

The Federal Environmental, Engineering, and Nuclear Supervision Agency (Rostekhnadzor) has started inspections of work safety conditions at all mines throughout Russia after a total of 108 people were killed in the explosion at the Ulyanovskaya mine in the Kemerovo Region March 19, Russia's worst mine accident in the past 75 years.

Preliminary investigation results indicate that the Ulyanovskaya tragedy was caused by serious breaches in safety regulations.

Konstantin Pulikovsky, the head of the watchdog, has ordered that work at the mines be checked for compliance with technological documentation and estimated project capacity, safety regulations and changes in original project designs.

He also demanded that urgent measures be taken, including the suspension of production, if any safety violations are discovered at mines.

Out of 33 mines, work has been temporarily suspended at 29 mines in the Kemerovo Region in western Siberia and four mines in the Rostov Region in southern Russia.

Annual coal production in the Kuznetsk Basin, or Kuzbass, in the Kemerovo Region, is expected to grow 50% to 270 million metric tons by 2025, the region's administration said March 27.

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