The nation of Kazakhstan, a former member of the Soviet Union, experienced a serious national accident in a mine. In the early hours of Sunday, October 29th, some forty five individuals were confirmed to have perished in a deadly fire at a mine operated by ArcelorMittal. The accident has been deemed as the worst in the nation’s history since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Kazakhstan has long been known as a country rich in natural resources. The nation possesses an abundance of minerals, including uranium, copper and zinc. It is a top producer of uranium and possesses nearly 1 million tons of the substance in national reserves. The country also enjoys a vast amount of oil reserves and has much of that resource remaining untapped within its natural geography. It was recently ranked as the 11th richest country in terms of natural resources on the planet; these resources comprise over a quarter of the nation’s GDP at 26.8%.
The horrific blaze occurred at the Kostenko coalmine located within the Karaganda region of the country. The fire initially started on Saturday, October 28th. ArcelorMittal, the company operating the mines, has had a recent history of having accidents and disasters occur at many sites under their operation. Due to this, the company was “nationalized” (or taken over publicly by the government of Kazakhstan) at the local level within the country.
An explosion occurred within the mine at a very high force, spreading over a mile in range. On Sunday, 42 bodies had been recovered; later, 3 others were found. Much of the local population was outraged and believed that the company in Kazakhstan should become fully nationalized. The president of the nation, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev deemed the company ArcelorMittal as the most abysmal enterprise in the history of the company in terms of governmental cooperation. ArcelorMittal, a Luxembourg based steel company, confirmed the nationalization of its activities in the country.