Head of Russia's largest coal mine denies report on his dismissal

08:32, May 18, 2010      

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The CEO of the blast-hit Raspadskaya coal mine, Igor Volkov, refuted on Monday local media reports that he was going to quit his post following the sharp criticism by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Russian media reported Volkov was going to leave his job "in the next few days," citing a source in the mine's management.

RIA Novosti news agency reported later that Volkov "will not go " and "will participate in the coal mine's re-building," citing another source in the mine's management.

Prime Minister Putin sharply criticized Volkov for "numerous irregulations" in the enterprise that led to the death of more than 60 people when two explosions occurred there on May 9.

The tragedy sparked a brief unrest in the nearby towns where a few dozen local residents shut off the Trans-Siberian railroad during the last weekend. The unrest was swiftly suppressed by special police forces.

The authorities plan to start compensatory payments for the victims of the accident, including the families of those who perished underground, within "this week," an official from the Health and Social Development Ministry announced on Monday.

Raspadskaya is the largest coal mine in Russia. It is located in the town of Mezhdurechensk in Kemerovo region in southern Siberia.

Source: Xinhua
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