At least 13 killed in Siberia dam collapse

At least 13 miners have been killed when a dam collapsed at a gold mine about 160 kilometres south of the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russian news agencies report.

Heavy rains on Saturday had caused erosion of the dam and water had broken through, sweeping away several cabins where workers at the mine lived, Interfax quoted a local official as saying.

Russia’s health ministry said 14 miners were taken to hospitals and three had suffered severe injuries at the mine, where pictures aired by Russia’s state Rossiya 24 channel showed damaged structures flooded with water and mud.

A Russian investigative committee said in a statement it had launched a criminal probe into violation of safety rules at the gold mine, while local authorities said the collapsed dam was not registered by official bodies.

“The hydrotechnical facility was self-constructed and, I believe, all rules I can and can not think of were violated,” Yuri Lapshin, the head of the Krasnoyarsk regional government, was quoted by RIA news agency as saying.

Reuters was unable to reach mine’s owner.

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