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Incident at Kumtor mine. Prime Minister instructs to step up search work

Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Mukhammedkaly Abylgaziev instructed to step up search and rescue operations at Kumtor mine. The Information Support Department of the Cabinet of Ministers reported.

The head of the Government instructed to mobilize all efforts to search for the missing Kumtor employees, to increase, if necessary, the number of people involved in the search and to find out the reasons for the happened.

According to preliminary information, a dramatic failure occurred at Kumtor mine at the Lysii waste rock dump at approximately 5:43 a.m. on December 1, 2019. At that time, operators of the mining department worked in that area. After transmission of information from the foremen of the mining department about beginning of the dramatic failure to the mountain dispatcher, they immediately gave a signal to all employees of the mining department about evacuation from the dangerous zone to a safe area.

«Due to the production necessity, one of the mining department foremen O. Ishenbekov was driving up by a Ford service pickup truck and, probably, after receiving the signal about the immediate evacuation, took the bulldozer driver Zh. Zhunushov with him for transportation to a safe area. However, after recounting of all evacuated employees of the mining department, it was found that the driver of the bulldozer Zh. Zhunushov and the foreman of the mining department O. Ishenbekov were absent, who did not respond to repeated calls on the radio,» the Cabinet said.

Access of equipment and people to the dangerous zone was completely stopped. Both workers are currently reported as missing. Their close relatives and state bodies were informed about the incident.

According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, all necessary measures are now being taken to establish the whereabouts of the missing. Rescuers together with members of the emergency rescue team conduct search and rescue operations. An investigation has been started on the fact of the incident, the reasons for the shift of the dump are investigated by the appropriate specialists.

The search and rescue operations involve 26 rescuers of the Ministry of Emergencies, search dogs, 12 members of the Kumtor Gold Company emergency rescue team. All the necessary equipment is involved in the search.

«Work to determine the causes of the incident is carried out jointly with the relevant state bodies. After the incident, the production process was temporarily suspended. The site where the dump has abruptly shifted does not threaten the main production facilities of the mine and is located at a safe distance from the central pit, tailings and Petrov lake. Dumps, which are waste rocks, do not contain any harmful substances and do not pose a threat to the environment,» the Government stressed.