Donetsk, Nov 19 - DAN. Donetsk People’s Republic Emergencies Ministry rescuers set up an underground base at the Skochinsky coal mine to ensure work safety, the DPR Emergencies Ministry press service reported on Thursday.

“As of 06:00, November 19, an inspection of the mine drainage pump room had been carried out and an underground base had been organised to ensure safe water pumping and gas level monitoring,” the report said.

The rescuers are also inspecting tunnels and ventilation equipment and installing methane emission and  CO2 sensors. The coal mine accident area is being aired. Telephone communication lines repairs and air sampling and analysis are underway.

It is the third day after the Skochinsky mine accident. The fate of the missing coalminers remains unknown.

The accident occurred on November 17. "At 5:20, a fire broker out in the belt road at western face 6; there were 26 coalminers there at the moment; of those 22 were evacuated," according to the Commission for investigating the cause of the accident.   Four miners were reported missing. Their whereabouts remain unknown. The rescue operation has been suspended due to high concentration of gas in tunnels.


The Skochinsky mine was commissioned in 1975. It produces quality metallurgical coals of grades “Zh” and “K”. The company has produced some 30 million tons of coal tunnelling some 250 kilometres since the start of operation. The maximum tunnel depth is 1,350 metres.

The mine is regarded as one of the most dangerous in the world. Production is inhibited by unique geological conditions such as high temperature of coal beds and enclosing rock, high methane content in coal beds and methane emission risks. These factors caused several large accidents.  The worst disaster occurred on April 4, 1998, in which 63 coalminers were killed.*jk