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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

5 Mine Inspectors Are Fired

Five mine safety inspectors have been fired over a methane explosion at a Siberian coal mine that killed 110 people on March 19, news reports said Wednesday.

The country's top mine safety official, Konstantin Pulikovsky, dismissed the five officials in the Kemerovo region for allowing the Ulyanovskaya mine to "breach safety rules in order to make a profit," Novaya Gazeta reported.

Yevgeny Anoshin, spokesman for Pulikovsky's agency, the Federal Service for Ecological, Technological and Atomic Inspection, said serious methane safety violations also had been found at Kemerovo's Osinnikovskaya mine.

The Osinnikovskaya and Ulyanovskaya mines use the same methane safety systems and are owned by the same company, Yuzhkuzbassugol, the service said on its web site.

Safety checks will be conducted at all the country's coal mines by August, and the service will start working on a three-year program for methane safety at the mines, Pulikovsky said, Novaya Gazeta reported.

So far 70 mines have been checked to make sure they meet safety standards, Anoshin said. He could not give a figure for the total number of mines.