The collapse of a dam at a gold mine in the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, has claimed the lives of at least 15 miners.
The dam located on the Seiba river burst after heavy rain, flooding cabins where the artisanal miners lived.
The BBC reported that the mine is remotely located about 160km south of the city of Krasnoyarsk, which is 4,000km east of Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered officials to undertake all necessary measures to help those affected and to investigate the reasons behind the incident.
The Russian investigative committee has undertaken a criminal investigation over the allegations that the dam violated safety regulations.
Reuters cited local authorities as saying that the collapsed dam was not registered by official bodies.
Krasnoyarsk officials said that water released by the dam partially flooded two dormitories of the rotational camp where 74 people lived.
Russian news agency Interfax reported that several small cabins were swept away by the floodwaters.
Krasnoyarsk regional government head Yuri Lapshin said: “The hydro-technical facility was self-constructed and, I believe, all rules I can and cannot think of were violated.”
Artisanal gold mining in Russia, which is usually small-scale, is still conducted by registered companies, which are supposed to follow the country’s health and safety standards.
A total of 21 people were killed following the roof collapse at a coal mine in the Shaanxi province of northern China in January.