Death Toll in Kazakhstan’s Kostenko Mine Fire Rises to 45

ASTANA – Fourty-five mine workers have been killed in a fire at the Kostenko mine owned by the ArcelorMittal Temirtau (AMT) mining company as of Oct. 29. Search for the remaining miner continues, the Kazakh Ministry of Emergency Situations reported.

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The operational headquarters works round-the-clock at two mining sites located around six kilometers apart, considering all possible routes for mine rescuers to reach the probable locations of the missing miner.

Emergency Situations Minister Syrym Sharipkhanov descended into a mine shaft to inspect the supposed epicenter of the accident, where he identified destroyed mining equipment, rubbles and ventilation structure damages that hamper the search operation.

“There are no visible sources of combustion, the gas situation is normal,” he said, noting that the work to eliminate the accident’s consequences is ongoing.

Smailov at the government commission on investigating the mine fire causes. Photo credit:

Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov necessitated detecting the causes of the incident comprehensively and identifying accountable persons. He instructed the Ministry of Labor, the akimat (administration) and AMT to provide assistance to the families of the injured and deceased miners.

Smailov also set a task to complete the procedures for the AMT’s transfer in favor of Kazakhstan.

By the decision of the government commission established to investigate the mine fire causes, Vadim Basin has been appointed AMT Acting CEO by  President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. 

Vadim Basin, newly appointed AMT Acting CEO. Photo credit:

According to Basin, the company will maintain payment terms and social guarantees, focusing primarily on improving labor safety at the mines.

Basin has been serving as the first deputy akim (governor) of the Karagandy Region since October 2022. He started his career as an electrician at a metallurgical plant.

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