The former head of a Siberian diamond mine has been found dead in a detention cell ‘with signs of suicide’ just a day after he was arrested, Russian investigating authorities said.
Alexey Burkser was arrested on Monday on suspicion of violating safety rules and found dead in his cell on Tuesday at the pre-trial centre in the remote Yakutia region in eastern Siberia
He was in charge of Alrosa’s Mir diamond mine in Yakutia, which flooded in August 2017 and killed eight miners.
This photo shows a view of the first Soviet diamond mining pit, called Mir, which operated from 1957-2001 in the town of Mirny, with the town in the background. The former head of a huge Russian diamond mine has been found dead in his jail cell after eight miners were killed by flooding, authorities said on Wednesday
A plate with diamonds inside the so-called treasury of Yakutia, the same city in Siberia where Burkser worked and died. Alrosa, the company he worked for, is the world’s largest producer of rough diamonds in carat terms
A regional branch of the federal Investigative Committee said there were indications the death of Alexey Burkser at the centre in the remote Yakutia region in eastern Siberia had been suicide. Russian state-controlled Alrosa declined to comment.
Alrosa is the world’s largest producer of rough diamonds in carat terms. Together with Anglo American’s De Beers unit, it produces about half of the world’s rough diamonds.
The underground mine, which produced eight per cent of Alrosa’s output, flooded when water poured into the shaft from an open-cast mine above it.
Investigators believe there had been signs that water was coming into the mine a month prior to the accident, the Interfax news agency reported.
They suspect that Burkser and Alexander Mann, Mir’s former acting chief engineer who was also detained on Monday, were aware of the situation but did not suspend operations or ensure employees were not endangered, Interfax said.
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