Mine fire in Kazakhstan leaves 21 dead, dozens missing

At least 21 people died in a fire in a mine in Kazakhstan, ArcelorMittal Temirtau MT.LU, the local unit of the Luxembourg steelmaker which operates the mine, reported this Saturday (28).

Of the 252 people present at the Kostenko mine, 208 were evacuated and 18 requested medical help, according to a company statement. About 23 people were unlocated as of noon local time.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev expressed condolences to the families of the victims and ordered his office to end investment cooperation with ArcelorMittal Temirtau.

The government said in a statement it was finalizing a deal to nationalize the company, which operates the country’s largest steel mill.

Last month, First Deputy Prime Minister Roman Sklyar told reporters that Kazakhstan was in talks with potential investors who could take control of the plant.

He stressed that the cabinet was unhappy with ArcelorMittal’s failure to meet its investment obligations, upgrade equipment and ensure worker safety following a series of fatal accidents.