Putin Calls for Tighter State Mining Controls

17 May 2010 (Last Updated May 17th, 2010 18:30)

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called for tighter state control of mines to avoid a repetition of the accident that killed at least 66 people this month at a Siberian coal mine. Two methane explosions rocked the Raspadskaya mine in the Kemerovo region a week ago, killing at lea

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called for tighter state control of mines to avoid a repetition of the accident that killed at least 66 people this month at a Siberian coal mine.

Two methane explosions rocked the Raspadskaya mine in the Kemerovo region a week ago, killing at least 66 people and leaving over 100 injured while 24 people are still missing.

Putin increased the powers of industrial safety regulator Rostekhnadzor, which can shut mines and sanction managers without a court order.

Putin also said the Russian Government will directly supervise Rostekhnadzor's activities, reports Reuters.

A large number of miners and their families protested last week claiming that they had been forced to disable safety equipment in order to meet production targets.