Alrosa diamond mine flooded in Russian Far East, evacuation of 150+ miners ongoing

Alrosa diamond mine flooded in Russian Far East, evacuation of 150+ miners ongoing

Alrosa diamond mine flooded in Russian Far East, evacuation of 150+ miners ongoing
More than 150 people are being evacuated after a water breakthrough at the pumping station of the Mir diamond mine belonging to the mining giant Alrosa in the Russian Far East Republic of Yakutia.

“The evacuation is ongoing. A total of 151 people were at the mine [at the time of the incident],” TASS reports citing the republic’s emergency services office.

Alrosa confirmed the incident, saying that the water breakthrough took place at 4:30pm local time.

At least 40 people have been taken to the surface, Alrosa says in its latest statement, adding that the rescue operation continues. The rest of the workers are currently safe in the upper reaches of the mine, the company said.

Alrosa’s shares on the Moscow Exchange plunged 2.5 percent as news of the incident broke, but have since recovered most of the losses.

READ MORE: Russia’s purest & most expensive diamond to go on sale

Yakutia authorities have launched an investigation into the incident, TASS reported, citing a source in the republic’s prosecutor’s office.

The head of the Republic of Yakutia, Egor Borisov, is headed to the scene, as well as Alrosa company President Sergey Ivanov.

Rostekhnadzor, Russia’s ecology watchdog has arrived at the diamond mine, the body’s official Yulia Neposedova told TASS. “A commission to investigate the incident will soon be established.”

An exhausted pit filled with some 300,000 cubic meters of water may have been the source of the flooding in the mine, a local emergency services spokesperson said.

The Mir mine was opened back in the 1950s. The length of the mine tunnels reaches 10km (6.2 miles), according to the Alrosa website, and its depth is 1,000 meters (3,300ft). The mine’s output is 1 million tons o

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