Mine director to be charged in accident

May 20, 2010 at 5:00 PM

KEMEROVO REGION, Russia, May 20 (UPI) -- The Russian special investigations committee said it will bring charges against the former director of a Russian coal mine where an accident killed 66 workers.

On May 8, two explosions occurred in the Raspadskaya mine in the Kemerovo region, after which 66 bodies were found, RIA Novosti reported. Twenty-four miners are still missing.

"Igor Volkov (the former director) has been charged under … the Russian Criminal Code for safety rules violations during mining, construction or other works which negligently caused the death of two or more persons," Vladimir Markin, a committee spokesman, said.

Volkov could face seven years imprisonment if convicted.

Volkov resigned from his director position Tuesday after Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin severely criticized him, RIA Novosti said.

Volkov was told not to leave Mezhdurechensk, the west Siberian town in which the mine is located.

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