Three mine officials charged for fatal Ukraine explosion

Click to follow

Three officials were charged with violating safety rules in a mine explosion that killed 81 coal workers earlier this month in Ukraine, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The state prosecutor's office said Tuesday that former Barakova mine director Leonid Kolesnikov, chief mechanic Oleksandr Bedlovskyi and conveyor foreman Oleksandr Kryvoruchko were charged with violations of safety that led to human casualties.

The three face up to 10 years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said.

Earlier, a government commission ordered the mine director and several other officials dismissed from their jobs because of the explosion.

According to the commission, the March 11 blast was caused by gross neglect. It said a faulty cutting torch released a stream of oxygen and caused coal dust to explode.

Contrary to safety rules, worker access to the area where thgators said. The also said experts were not present, the area was not saturated with water as required and fire extinguishers were not at hand.

Ukraine has the highest coal industry death rate, largely because of outdated, dangerous equipment.