February 25, 2016 at 14: 09 PM in a coal mine “Northern” in Vorkuta was an explosion of methane, buried 26 people. Later, the bombings continued and claimed the lives of ten miners. The bodies of most of them remain underground forever. The investigation is still ongoing. As it turned out, the tragedy brought the vicious practice of many years of bribery of inspectors of all levels of leadership Severstal. Most of the perpetrators punished, but chief among them, CEO of Vadim Larin, managed to escape to England with multi-million dollar “Golden parachute”. In the history of one of the biggest tragedies of Vorkuta versed correspondent “the Tape.ru” Igor Nadezhdin.
the Salary of a miner in Vorkuta ranges from 35 to 100 thousand rubles. It depends on the specialization: sinker earns between 65 to 85 thousand rubles per month, and earner (officially the profession is called a “stope miner”) — from 75 to 100 thousand. Underground miner (podzemnik, it exports coal mined) earns 34 to 37 thousand rubles a month (sometimes, if you take the additional work comes up to 45 thousand). It pojemnikow the mine every day down more than about 70 per cent working in the shift. There are still machinists underground installations, surveyors, electricians…
In a shift, usually under ground go 120-130 people. That is, their total monthly salary is six to seven million rubles.
Director General of the company “Severstal management” (owns coal mines of Vorkuta), Vadim per month received 6 million 848 thousand 792 roubles. This is an average — these figures were voiced at the trial in the case of bribery. Dismissal “by agreement of the parties” in November of 2016 he was paid $ 156 million 757 thousand 765 rubles 66 kopecks.
That is almost twenty times more than all the miners earn in a month.
Vadim Larin, who in March of this year has been 48 years, declared in the international search. But his whereabouts are well known: he lives in the UK, in Kent, in the prestigious even by English standards village of Cobham. According to the FSB, Larina own your home 27 kilometres South-West of London.
According to investigators, he led a group of managers who regularly pay money to the officials of the Supervisory bodies because they just didn’t go to dangerous places of the mines. This became the cause of systematic violations that caused a major underground accident at the mine “Severnaya” February 25, 2016, which killed 30 miners. Larin gave the order to carry out a rescue operation with gross violations of 28 February resulted in the deaths of six other people — five of the rescuers and miners. Now the “North” completely submerged.
There is every reason to believe that Vadim Larin as one of the leaders of the Commission on investigation of causes of the tragedy, has provided fraudulent documents, which witnessed a series of explosions under the ground was the result of “inevitable accidents in the mines”, and not the consequence of gross violations.
the Accident at the mine “North” began on 25 February 2016 at 14:09. At this time there were 111 people. According to investigators, in the lower pair of lava 412-W with conveyor block on its way (sloping mountain production, which has no outlet to the surface) “42-h” layer “Powerful” explosion of methane-air mixture. The site worked through the miners mine site No. 12, located next to the tunnel site No. 1.
Both were cut off from exits. There were 26 people — their bodies were not discovered until now. The decision of the Vorkuta city court all of them March 4, 2016 has been confirmed dead is allowed to immediately begin payments to relatives; usually missing dead recognize, after five years of fruitless search.
Immediately after the first explosion, the evacuation, but after 1 hour and 45 minutes occurred a new series of explosions of methane-air mixture. Killing four people — their bodies were brought to the surface. Injured 15 people.
the Rescue operation began immediately left Moscow senior officers MOE, officials of the state Commission, the top management of Severstal. But traditionally under the ground went the staff of the militarized mine-rescue group of the Pechora basin (that they serve “Northern”), as well as volunteers working at the mine. The task is to find and make the remaining under the ground. The work was carried out around the clock.
on February 28 at 01:24 a new series of explosions shook the bowels. At this time, rescue operations were 38 39 rescuers and miners. On the spot, killing five rescuers and miners, six more people were injured. After that, the operation was curtailed: the chances of finding survivors left. The mine flooded is another way to win the underground fire was not.
of Course, immediately after reports about the incident a criminal case was initiated. As provided by law, a decree signed by the head of the Republican administration the Investigative Committee of Russia (TFR). A few hours later the investigation was transferred to the Central apparatus of the TFR — for objectivity, but to the place of the disaster has left a large group of investigators and criminalists.
the Disaster under the ground to happen for two reasons: a gross violation of safety requirements and sudden underground phenomena like the emission of methane or water breakthrough. Relatives of the victims, and the miners themselves, in all cases, underground disasters convinced that they were the fault of the authorities. The owners of the mines, of course, say more. So it was “Northern”.
the Seized documents and in the mine office and the Supervisory bodies — witness: in mine everything was fine. Of course, not perfect, but good enough. All necessary plans have been agreed and tested many times. Sometimes found minor issues, twice mine even closed, but both times the comments have been removed during the day, and the next day generation worked in a usual mode.
For example, 11 Nov 2015, four months before the February disaster, RTN during a planned inspection found that instead of the anchors with a length of 1.8 meters for mounting equipment used anchors with a length of 1.6 meters, underground pipeline works poorly water curtain, which should bring down explosive coal dust and upsetting her, on the same conveyor rope emergency stop tape not stretched at all its length, one of the substations is not grounded.
Each entry of the Protocol was accompanied by references to the relevant laws and orders, and eventually the mine was ordered to close. But the next day, mine management reported that all deficiencies have been corrected, and the work is fully resumed. Of course, every comment was serious, but nothing of the actual threat of the inspectors has revealed.
nevertheless, many miners claimed: a week before the explosion, all of the sensors talked about the increase in the concentration of methane in the mine. Some have argued that while the maximum allowable concentration in one percent of their personal recorders showed four to five per cent, and they even wrote the relevant statements to the authorities. But these automatic stations were talking about something else: a dangerous concentration have not been identified.
Talked about the fact that violated the size requirement of the air special moves (they are used as evacuation): instead of 80 centimeters, in order that man could walk on it, in most cases, width not exceed 30 cm. But no one reviewer this is not fixed, and in the words they were saying, “it’s not — otherwise I would have said”.
Check the words of the miners, the investigators could not: mine-flooded… you Can believe the testimony, can not believe that the court needs proof, not allegations.
the results of the work of the Commission on investigation of causes of the tragedy at the “North” had collected in the six volumes of the criminal case, but an unambiguous conclusion about the causes of the incident and was not done. Nevertheless, all data have demonstrated that the explosion was the result of the inevitable accidents in the mines, and to speak about the fault of the impossible. Signed, among others, and Larin, Director of “Severstal Management”. He, by the way, the post was one of the leaders of the Commission. Now the investigation has questioned the results of the work of this Commission — but others simply do not.
In may 2016 the management of public joint stock company “Severstal” was sent from Moscow to Vorkuta group of specialists of the internal control Department (UCMJ): eight polygraph was to interrogate the user control with the use of polygraphs (“lie detectors”).
— These checks in the company were held regularly: the user was interested in, do not take the chiefs on the ground “kickbacks” for the supply of materials and equipment, whether they do not convey proprietary information to outsiders, if they do not come in intimate relationships with subordinates, says the major of justice Alexey Arteev, the investigator for particularly important cases Department of the TFR in the Republic of Komi. The test was to be held in February, but because of the incident, it was postponed. Moreover, according to the investigation, the Moscow leadership did not want in may to send specialists to West kavik, but Larin insisted on it, arguing that the test is required. And since Larin was a member of the Board of Directors of the “big” Severstal confront him employees UVK was difficult.
Arrived from Moscow specialists during the week, talked with the local authorities. According to the established procedure, the entire polygraph is fixed not only computers, but also on video, from beginning to end.
once the polygraph was completed the conversation, the investigators seized all the results of their work as of interest to establish the truth. That, in fact, it was not difficult to anticipate: after all, employees UVK interviewed most of the witnesses on criminal case about the crash.
— the analysis of the interviews according to the principle “lying is not lying” polygraph examiners conduct did not, but from them it is not particularly required, says the investigator Arteev. — In the course of the conversation the expert sees, lying or telling the truth. And their superiors need not paper, and the result, and said often enough. But the investigation was interesting that video of meetings, and the words that the talking heads of the mine office.
a Small digression: the survey methodology on the “lie detector” involves a variety of questions, and along with interest the expert specifies abstract. Well, for example, immediately after the issue of the violation of labor discipline may sound “do you like ice cream?”.
Everyone he interviewed specialists of the internal control Department, among others, they asked the question: “do you give bribes?”. Do not take and give. Feel the difference.
18 may, 2016 polygraph examiners interviewed the Director entering in “Severstal Management” management “Vorkutaugol” 35-year Vadim Cheblakov.
the Interview lasted 37 minutes, 42 seconds. The main questions concerned the fact that the interest of the Moscow authorities: no involvement of Sablukov to receive illegal funds appropriately he is acting, do not take any decisions out of personal interest, did not engage in off-duty relationship with a subordinate, male or female.
In the ninth minute of the conversation, the expert specifies Sablukova the question of how he stands on the General law-abiding.
If our employees, especially managers, even outside of work be involved in something, it is for the company is reputational risk, and this must be considered. You have since the last inspection the situation with law enforcement was?
— in addition to working — no, — answered Sablukov. — At work there is a gray area about which the user knows we’re doing here, but besides that, no.
Okay. The main thing to nothing at your level is not left closed, there is nothing that Larin didn’t know… And with respect to these “gray areas” — strokes that we understand that one and the same are talking.
We were, relatively speaking, paying an additional salary to certain officers. Not in exchange for some specific action, but just.
Okay. But it is in the interest of the company?
Yes, although it’s against the law.
Well, this is a question about something else.
This short snippet of conversation of two employees of JSC “Severstal” and started a criminal case.
Immediately after the disaster to the “North”, the next day, the investigators of the TFR has seized computers of leadership, as expected. The contents of the hard drives examined, but watched the first documents concerning safety in mines and the organization of all work. But this phrase Sablikova (as it is in “Severstal” was considered a promising leader, despite his youth) forced investigators to look at computers, but taking into account the information about the “additional wages”.
And now some seemingly innocuous letters to the two leaders took on a new meaning.
“tomorrow I meet with the coach”, — says the General Director of “Vorkutaugol” Shablikov his immediate supervisor, the Director of “Severstal Management” Larin 01 Dec 2015.
“Remind me the price of the question”, — he meets Larin.
“270+270+270=810”, — writes Sablukov.
“And next time when you come to me with this question?”
“this is the end of the first quarter. But there will be others.”
“Understood. Tomorrow morning, around eight, come to me”.
Goncharenko Alexander the head of the Pechora Department of the Federal service for ecological, technical and atomic supervision (Rostekhnadzor).
“Vadim, we broke up the issue with VGSCH [Militarized mine-rescue part]. We need to decide the time came. A few days will come to me pube — it would be good to solve it. And tradespace, Gilze, too. 300+300+840 (280*3)=1440”, — this letter in June 2015 Sablukov also sent Laryn.
“we’ll Decide tomorrow after the meeting stick around,” replied the Director “Severstal Management”.
Lobkov Leonid Vladimirovich — detachment commander VGSCH Pechora basin, knight of the order of Courage. It Lobkov signed approvals for the exploitation of mines.
Gilts Petr Konstantinovich — chief inspector of Vorkuta Department of state labour inspection in the Republic of Komi. He worked for many years in the Department of labour protection “Vorkutaugol”, and his appointment to tradespace actively lobbied the heads of Severstal.
Similar letters in the mail two successful managers has discovered a lot. It was all heads of supervising the coal industry agencies: Rostekhnadzor, Labor inspection and VGSCH.
— If you look at the documents in isolation from the testimony of mine workers, the situation at the “North” was quite prosperous, — said the major of justice Alexey Arteev. — Checks carried out, minor shortcomings were eliminated, but the overall situation at the mine was working. But if we analyze the whole set of materials — the picture is quite different. Officials in charge of the mine during interrogations, said that on the 12th station, where the explosion occurred, the breaches were many, but we all said, with supervision there is an agreement. For example, the Director of the mine, going down in the mine, many times noted that, for example, Bremberg must have a minimum width of 80 centimeters, and in fact — not more than 30 cm And, in addition, the airflow on it is insufficient. To generate things easier for you, but in the event of a disaster such a small width of the block on its way becomes critical.
on the Eve of 2017, investigators of SKR detained the suspects: Director of “Vorkutaugol” Sablikova, commander VGSCH Lobkov, head of the Pechora Department of Rostechnadzor Goncharenko and head of the Department of the Vorkuta trudinspektsii Giltsa. Already at the initial stage of Cheblakov wrote a confession. Officials blame refused to recognize.
a month before, October 30, 2017, the General Director of “Severstal Management” Vadim Larin flew with his family to the UK. And on 7 November he was dismissed from office upon agreement of the parties. “Golden parachute” amounted to nearly 200 million rubles.
In the investigation of these criminal cases have been identified the group of executives consisting of the manual “Vorkutaugol” and “Severstal Management”, — said the investigator for particularly important cases of the Republican Department of the TFR Alexey Arteev. — They regularly passed bribes, or, as rightly said during the conversation with the polygraph Sablukov, “pay additional wages” officials of the controlling bodies. Paid for the unhindered work “Vorkutaugol” in terms of technical supervision and other oversight functions for failure mitigation or liability in the event of violations. All this was done for one thing: increasing the profitability of the mines.
So, Lobkov contrary to the requirements of the law instructed his subordinates to calculate the level of mine safety, based on figures of 30 percent of gas concentration, which allowed to increase the length of the slaughter of almost two kilometers. In strict accordance with the orders of the calculations should be done on the basis of 50% of gas pollution — but it requires expensive works. And this is just one episode of many.
For all the time of Alexander Goncharenko as head of the local administration RTN “North” is virtually never closed due to security breaches. He explains a good organization of work, but the testimony of witnesses, and the fact of the disaster 25 Feb 2016 refute it.
by the Way, it is worth noting that immediately after the February tragedy at the “North” Goncharenko sent three administrative Protocol address “Severstal Management” and fined them almost on 30 million roubles for gross violations. But in telephone conversations with the management of the company officials several times apologetically said, saying that Moscow is cracking down. “I don’t agree with it, but can not do anything. Excuse me, I hope our relationship in the future, it will not affect”.
the court Verdict, the head of the Pechora Department of Rostechnadzor Alexander Goncharenko was found guilty of receiving bribes in the large size and sentenced to five years of imprisonment in a colony. Commander VGSCH Leonid Lobkov sentenced to seven years imprisonment in a strict regime colony. Sablukov as a person who actively collaborated with the investigation, from criminal liability are exempt. Gilts, committed suicide in the cell a month after his arrest, he had experienced several shocks during his detention, in particular, found that his eldest son, the doctor, the psychiatrist, is a drug addict (when they searched the son’s room was discovered drugs and systems for their Smoking, as he tried to escape through a window and escaped with a bag of vegetable matter, but was arrested a hundred meters from the house). And then, he knew that only death will save his family from the confiscation of property.
Larin is currently wanted. Britain has refused to extradite him to the Russian police — they say that his guilt is not proved, and the result merely intends to do his utmost. Although there is unambiguous testimony of witnesses: the bribe in cash on a quarterly basis gave Vadim Larin. To call it “illegal persecution” is quite difficult.
the investigation of the main criminal case about the death of 36 miners and rescuers at explosion on mine “Northern” is still ongoing.
In April 2018, the Supreme court overturned the acquittal of leaders of the mine “Vorkuta” and has directed business on new consideration. In 2013, the mine explosion, which killed 19 miners. The investigation found evidence that the explosion was the result of a complete lack of protective measures against coal dust. But for some strange reason the first instance court acquitted all the chiefs for lack of evidence. Then to bring to criminal responsibility the management of regulatory bodies investigators have failed: convincing evidence was not.
In June, the case will again be considered in Vorkuta.