A methane explosion at ArcelorMittal’s Lenin coal mine in central Kazakhstan has resulted in the deaths of at least five workers and injured four others.

A methane gas leak triggered an explosion at the mine in Shakhtinsk, a town in the resource-rich region of Karaganda in central Kazakhstan, on 3 November, reported Al Jazeera via AFP citing officials.

Kazakhstan Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov was quoted by inform.kz as saying in a Facebook post: “As per the latest data, five miners died as a result of the accident in the Lenin coal mine. The governmental commission, which was set up at my instruction for investigating the accident, includes ministerial officials, reps of local executive structures and trade unions.”

Rescue work is being carried out at the mine in the Qaraghandy region where ArcelorMittal operates what it claims to be the biggest steel mill in the country.

Kazakhstan Emergency Ministry spokesman Ruslan Imankulov told the AFP news agency: “A sudden release of gas during the drilling of a drainage well led to the deaths of five workers.”

Following the accident, four people were hospitalised while other 106 miners were evacuated from the mine site. In addition, a government commission has launched an investigation into the mine’s potential violations of safety rules.

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By GlobalData

Smailov added: “I have already emphasised the importance of creating safe working conditions and investing in the modernisation of production processes. The governmental commission is set a number of tasks: an impartial investigation into the accident reasons and provision of all-around assistance to the families of victims and those injured.”