Head of Russian largest coal mine to quit

09:57, May 18, 2010      

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The CEO of the blast-hit Raspadskaya coal mine will likely quit his post as soon as on Monday, "or in the next few days", the source in the mine's management told RIA Novosti news agency.

On Monday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sharply criticized the mine head Igor Volkov for "numerous irregularities" in the enterprise that led to death of more than 60 people when two explosions occurred there on May 9.

Twenty-four people have been reported missing. The fires in the tunnels have not been extinguished until now.

The tragedy sparked a brief unrest in the nearby towns where a few dozens of 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, "this week", 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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