3 dead in the accident of the Russian mining giant in the Arctic

Emergency workers work at the site of a collapsed processing plant in Norilsk on Saturday. (AP photo)

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Three workers were killed and three others injured on Saturday during repair work at a processing plant owned by Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel, the company said.

In the early hours of Saturday, the company said a facility to reload materials and an adjacent driveway collapsed during repairs to reinforce the structure.

The plant is located in the city of Norilsk in the Siberian Arctic.

“As a result of the accident, three people were killed and three others were injured,” Norilsk Nickel said.

The company said, citing preliminary information, that the accident occurred due to a “flagrant violation” of safety rules, and the head of the plant was suspended.

The regional branch of the Investigation Commission said it had opened a criminal investigation.

Norilsk Nickel is the largest producer of palladium in the world and one of the largest nickel.

The company has been in the spotlight since May last year when a fuel tank at a Norilsk Nickel power plant collapsed and spilled more than 20,000 tons of diesel oil into lakes and rivers in the Russian Arctic.

This month, a court ordered the company to pay a $ 1.99 billion fine for the fuel leak.

Billionaire Vladimir Potanin, who co-owns Norilsk Nickel, said the company would tighten industrial safety rules after Saturday’s accident.

“We are paying serious attention to these issues in Norilsk Nickel,” he told reporters. But it is clear that these efforts are not enough. “

This week Potanin, Russia’s richest man, set a new record for wealth.

His fortune crossed the US $ 30 billion mark, according to Forbes, setting a new record for a Russian employer.

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