Schools, plants close as Indian capital is smothered by smog
NEW DELHI (AP) — Schools were closed indefinitely and some coal-based power plants shut down as the smog-shrouded Indian capital and neighboring states invoked harsh measures Wednesday to combat worsening air pollution after an order from the federal environment ministry. The measures come as India’s top court is deliberating whether New Delhi should go into a lockdown as a blanket of thick, gray smog continued to envelope the city, particularly in the mornings.
At least six people were dead and dozens were missing underground after an accident at a Russian coal mine in Siberia on Thursday, officials said. © Handout There were 285 people inside the Listvyazhnaya coal mine, in the Kemerovo region near the town of Belovo, when the accident occurred
There were 285 people inside the Listvyazhnaya coal mine, in the Kemerovo region near the town of Belovo, when the accident occurred, local governor Sergei Tsivilev said on Telegram.
There was no official statement on the nature of the accident at the mine, where a methane blast in 2004 had previously killed 13 people.
China holds high-level talks with the Taliban
Top of The World: China Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks on Wednesday with high-level Taliban officials. And, a vital roadway and lifeline that supplies humanitarian aid to the war-torn Tigray region in northern Ethiopia is blocked. Also, one of the world’s largest container ships that blocked the Suez Canal for six days in March — causing global supply chain havoc — has reached the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands on Thursday. It will finally begin unloading its cargo before heading to Felixstowe, England.
Tsivilev said at least six people had died in the accident Thursday and that 49 remained underground.
"There is no communication with them," he said.
The emergencies ministry said the others inside the mine had been evacuated to the surface and that 45 people were injured.
Local investigators said that smoke spread across the mine at around 8:35 am local time (0135 GMT) on Thursday.
They said that, based on preliminary information, "a number of workers suffered smoke poisoning".
Russian state television showed images of rescuers and investigators working at the scene in snowfall.
The Liztvyazhnaya mine was set up in 1956 and is owned by the SDS-Ugol company based in the city of Kemerovo.
As well as the 2004 blast, another explosion at the mine killed five people in 1981, according to Russian media.
Coal, an unavoidable pollutant in the harsh Afghan winter
At a Kabul market, coal is arriving by the tonne as the winter cold sets in. "If we had electricity and gas, people wouldn't use coal," says one of the market traders, Abdullah Rahimi. None of Rahimi's 40 or so employees seems to have escaped the black dust that has crept deep into the wrinkles of the older workers. It is already well established under the nails of the younger staff, and is probably inside their bronchial tubes as well, though some are not yet 15 years old.They throw blocks of coal to each other, push wheelbarrows loaded with bags, make piles with shovels, and load customers' vehicles.
- Poor safety standards -
Mining accidents are fairly common in Russia and across the former Soviet Union as a result of poor safety standards, a lack of oversight of working conditions or ageing Soviet-era equipment.
In one of the worst recent examples, the rupture in October 2019 of an illegal dam at a gold mine in Siberia left 17 people dead.
The same month, three people were killed in an accident at a mine in the Arctic belonging to the Norilsk Nickel group, the world's largest producer of nickel and palladium.
In August 2017, eight people went missing after a flood swept through a Siberian diamond mine operated by Russia's Alrosa, one of the world's leading producers of rough diamonds.
After about three weeks, Alrosa announced that it was stopping the rescue operation.
The deadliest mining accident in Russia occurred at the Raspadskaya mine in Siberia -- Russia's largest coal mine -- in the summer of 2010, killing 91 people and leaving more than 100 injured.
The incident was the result of a powerful methane explosion when more than 300 miners were inside. A second explosion then trapped a group of rescuers.
On top of the deadly accidents, NGO groups have drawn attention to the environmental practices of mines in Russia, one of the largest gold producers in the world.
How Germany's New Government Plans to Be the Greenest One Yet .
"We have a whole roadmap for a post-fossil future based on renewable energy"Though the Greens’ performance wasn’t enough to win them the chancellorship, it gave them significant clout in coalition negotiations, which they promised to use to push through parts of their radical climate action program.