Voices from Russia

Sunday, 17 February 2013

17 February 2013. RIA-Novosti Infographics. Danger of Methane Explosion in Coalmines

00 RIA-Novosti Infographics. Methane in Coalmines. 2013


On 11 February, there was a methane gas explosion at a coalmine in Vorkuta in the Komi Republic. Of the 22 miners who were at the explosion site, five died, whilst rescuers saved eight. The fate of nine miners remains unknown. Our Infographic gives detail about how methane explosions occur in coalmines.

Methane is the least toxic gas in the homologous series of paraffinic hydrocarbons.  Methane can be an asphyxiant; it leads to death only in case of extremely high concentration of the gas in the air, which leads to methane displacing oxygen. When air has 25-30 percent methane content, the first signs of asphyxia (increased heart rate, increased respiration, loss of coordination and fine muscle movements, etc.) occur. Higher concentrations of methane in the air cause anoxia… headache, shortness of breath… symptoms similar to altitude sickness.

11 February 2013




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