Employer fully liable for fatal Kostenko coalmine incident, says government commission

Photo credit: Kazinform

The government commission determined that the employer is fully liable for the tragedy at the Kostenko coalmine in Karaganda region in late October, Kazinform News Agency cites the press service of the Kazakh Emergencies Ministry.

In its final sitting on December 9 the special commission of the Kazakh government determined that the employer (ArcelorMittal Temirtau) is 100% liable for the fire and fatal gas explosion at the Kostenko coalmine.

After painstaking investigation into technical documentation, evidences and other materials of the case with the help of both international and Kazakhstani research and expert organizations, the government commission determined that the fire and further methane explosion occurred due to gas inflammation.

Among other things, investigators also found the employer was negligent in its upkeep and inspection of the mine. 19 people were found responsible for violation of safe working practices.

The results of the investigation were submitted to Kazakhstani law-enforcement authorities.

Altogether, 46 miners were killed in the fatal accident in the Kostenko coalmine in Karaganda region on October 28. The coalmine is owned by ArcelorMittal Temirtau. At the moment of the explosion 252 miners were in the mine and only 205 of them were lifted to safety.

A criminal investigation was launched right after the incident.

Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov headed the government commission investigating the causes of the fatal accident. Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered to halt investment cooperation with ArcelorMittal Temirtau immediately after the tragedy.

On October 8, it was announced that the Kazakh Government had acquired both ArcelorMittal Temirtau JSC and ArcelorMittal Tubular Products Aktau JSC for $286 million.

The company is expected to undergo a rebranding and is set to operate under a new name, Qarmet. Kazakhstani businessman Andrey Lavrentiev was named as a new investor of the company.

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