At the scene. The death of 10 employees of the treatment facilities of the Taganrog Vodokanal became a tragedy and the reason for the declaration of mourning on May 22 in the Rostov region – on the day of school last calls.
Journalists 161.RU answer the main questions about the tragedy in the village of Dmitriadovka.
At about 10:30, two teams of water utility employees descended into the sewer on the territory of the sewage treatment plant in the village of Dmitriadovka, Neklinovsky district. Repairers were sent there to fix the problem in the sewage basin.
In the pool, where the sewage flows, the water level has risen sharply – the valve through which the poisonous air is vented is jammed.
“The crane was running there, which broke down all the time – for 40 years,” a local resident, familiar with the victims, clarified to the 161.RU correspondent.
According to the version announced by the governor, ten employees of the water utility died after the methane release. Eight more people were admitted to the hospital with various degrees of “cloacal gas poisoning”, the main component of which is methane.
According to the interlocutor of the editorial office, a large number of deaths are due to the fact that the employees of the sewage treatment plants “went to save each other one by one.” The head of the station, Raisa Gavrilova, died on the spot, and she sent her subordinates to work.
LifeShot has published a list of those killed at the sewage treatment plant.
A 161.RU source confirmed that six out of ten people mentioned there actually worked and died in the accident:
The list also mentions four people whose fate 161.RU was unable to establish:
The search and rescue operation at the sewage treatment plant lasted about eight hours: initially it was only known about two dead, for the whole day the number gradually reached ten. The operation was canceled in the evening when it was revealed that the last employee who was believed to be missing was not actually at work that day.
Eight people were injured. Now they are in the Taganrog emergency hospital. Two are in extremely serious condition, in a coma, on artificial lung ventilation. Three more ended up in intensive care and receive oxygen support.
According to the regional health minister Yuri Kobzev, three victims refused to be hospitalized after being examined by a toxicologist. At the same time, according to the employees of the water utility, at least two of them are still under the supervision of doctors.
Wastewater treatment facilities have long been in need of repair
In September 2020, the treatment facilities in Dmitriadovka were inspected by the Minister of Industry and Energy Igor Sorokin (now the Deputy Governor). Vodokanal specialists then reported to the official that “large-scale measures [for reconstruction] at the Taganrog treatment facilities have not been carried out for more than 40 years.”
Earlier in 2020, the regional and city authorities agreed that the station in Dmitriadovka would be updated. The competition was won and received 82 million rubles for the development of a project for the reconstruction of treatment facilities, the company of the regional deputy, United Russia member Sergei Rozhkov. According to the work schedule, the company had to complete engineering, geological, environmental and other surveys by November 1, 2020. Agree on the project – until October 1, 2021.
According to the Taganrog MUP Vodokanal itself, a mechanical treatment station has been operating in Dmitriadovka since 1983, and biological treatment facilities have been operating since 1991.
Day of mourning
In the morning, representatives of the government, heads of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee and the regional prosecutor’s office worked near Taganrog. A criminal case was initiated on violation of industrial safety rules, the investigation of which the chairman of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin transferred to Moscow.
The Governor declared Saturday as a day of mourning when the last calls were scheduled.
Governor Vasily Golubev in the afternoon interrupted a visiting meeting with members of the Federation Council and visited the victims in the Taganrog emergency hospital. At a press conference that followed, Golubev declared May 22 a day of mourning in the Rostov region.
The governor promised to pay a million rubles each to the families of the victims, as well as help with the funeral of the victims of the accident at the sewage treatment plant. The victims will also receive compensation.
Due to the announcement of mourning in Rostov-on-Don, the last calls to public schools have been postponed from Saturday to Sunday, May 23.