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The fire in a gold mine in Russia's Chita region was fully extinguished on Thursday
The fire in a gold mine in Russia's Chita region, in which 25 people died, was fully extinguished on Thursday, spokesman for the regional department of the Emergency Situations Ministry Roman Sidorov told Itar-Tass. The fire broke out on September 7. It was contained shortly thereafter, but the presence of 64 miners inside hampered further fire-fighting efforts. To completely put out the blaze, it was necessary to close 11 horizontal excavations adjacent to the vertical shaft of the pit "before pumping in fire-extinguishing foam," representative of the regional administration Andrei Kozlov explained. However, a search was underway at the time for the miners trapped in these excavations. According to preliminary information, the fire was caused by "violation of labor protection rules during welding works," Anatoly Uskov of the regional prosecutor's office said. Prosecutors opened a criminal case over "violation of safety rules during mining or construction works," under Article 216, Part III of Russia’s Criminal Code. Nobody has been charged yet. On Thursday, the Russian Cabinet was to discuss assistance to the families of workers who died or were affected in the September 7 fire. The fire claimed 25 lives, and 39 workers were rescued. On orders from the Chita Region’s governor, Ravil Geniatulin, the family of each dead miner was paid a compensation of 100,000 rubles and another 20,000 rubles for funeral expenses. The mine’s owner, Rusdragmet company, pledged to repay all bank loans taken by the dead miners’ families and to pay for the education of orphaned children.
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