Emergency situation emerges at coalmine in Khakasia

Itar-Tass, 17 May 2004

ABAKAN, May 17 (Itar-Tass)—Services stopped technological pumping of underground waters at the coalmine Yeniseiskaya in Chernogorsk, Khakasia, where 139 coalminers went on a hunger strike over long wage arrears on Monday. An emergency situation has emerged at the coalmine. The republic's Emergencies Ministry, mountain rescuers and the Chernogorsk administration are informed about the emergency situation at the coalmine, chairman of the coalmine trade union committee Alexander Atyukov said. According to him, mountain rescuers cannot work, as the power line feeding the coalmine Yeniseiskaya happened to be in the fire area and was switched off.

But aide to the commander of the mountain rescue unit Anatoly Bulanov noted that the situation at the coalmine should not be dramatized. Rescuers are controlling the situation at the coalmine. Pumps will begin functioning shortly, and a danger of flooding the coalmine will be eliminated.

Meanwhile, Khakasia's prosecutor's office completed the investigation of the case on wage arrears at the coalmine Yeniseiskaya.

Former director of the coalmine and one of its co-owners Ten En Taku is charged with premeditated wage arrears to 410 coalminers. The case against him is transferred to the city court, a source in the republic's prosecutor's office said.

Investigators found out that the former director could pay the salary to coalminers on time, as the coalmine supplied 10.9 million roubles worth of coal in October and November and received a larger part of money as prepayment. But funds earmarked for paying the salary were used for settling accounts payable.

The investigation against incumbent coalmine director Alexander Pavlov is in progress.