The coal-producing region of Kemerovo ---Kuzbass--- has suffered another fatal mining accident due to high levels of methane gas on November 25, 2021 [1, 3, 4, 13], in which forty six miners and five rescuers were killed . Many miners were in their 20s and 30s, with the youngest just 23 years old . In fact, the high level of methane in the mine made the rescue operation extremely difficult and it was also the supposed reason for the death of rescuers .
According to people who were present on the site at the time of the incidence, "safety standards meant it was an accident waiting to happen" . After the methane- gas explosion, one survival told : "The air was bad for weeks, [but ignored], still the bosses said "go". They just need coal" .
After the explosion, miners discussions on methane levels were posted online . Some miners stated how methane level measures were manipulated to give lower readings so that mining activities can go ahead [9, 12]. They risked the lives of miners and rescuers. A miner of Russian Independent Trade Union of Coal Industry Workers said: "You cannot allow such a concentration of methane and keep working in it. If it happens [explosion], it is disastrous situation and it needs to be dealt with" . Why did management stuff allow this to happen?" the miner furthermore added in his statement.
Another miner said that the boss told him to work up to 1.5% of methane, but at the same time, the director told him to work only up to 1% of methane, indicating lack of clarity and protocol in such dangerous situation. Another miner then stated "We had it coming [explosion] with methane" .
The Kuzbass account for 58% of all Russian coal production. In 2017, 73% of all coal exports came from the region . The Russian government has called for increased annual production to reach a minimum of 485 million tons by 2035. That's up from 441 million tons in 2019 . This is over 3 tonnes per capita for Russia and exports to China are rising.
Before the explosion, trade unions representing Russian coal miners welcomed the increased production but are reserved in opinion that better safety working condition will come with it : "The Listvyazhnaya disaster showed once again that the state has not managed to create effective legal and administrative measures that will guarantee the safety of people [working] underground,” the Independent Union of Miners said in a statement .
A family member of killed miner said: "My husband come home from work and said it would not end well. On the night of November 14 to 15 a fire broke out at the unit, and no measures were taken. And only 10 days after they are all lying in there" .
Five people of the management team, including the mine director have been arrested. The criminal case against them has begun indicating safety violations and neglect [12, 3]. Inspectors found about 914 safety violations at the site, but only one day before the explosion there were no issues found at all.
"The management of the mine had systematically taken measures to hide the facts of excessive methane gas levels in the mine," the president of Russian Federation told in a meeting with officials, citing a preliminary report delivered by investigators concluding that "the results of toxic gas sensors were falsified .
The families of those killed in the coal mine will be paid 2 million rubles (27,000 USD). Extra payments will be created for those affected  .