The boss of the SDS-Ougol group and owner of the mine, as well as its general manager Guennady Alekseev, its technical director Anton Yakutov and the chief engineer of the mine Anatoly Lobanov were arrested, said the Russian Investigation Committee.
They are suspected of violations of industrial security standards and abuse of power, the source continued.
A court in Kemerovo, Siberia, ordered the remand in custody of Mr Fediayev until February 14 and MM. Alekseyev, Lobanov and Yakutov until January 25, the regional prosecutor’s office said at the end of the day on its Telegram account.
One of the richest men in Russia
If industrial accidents are still common in Russia, it is rare that the wealthy and influential magnates are prosecuted.
Mr Fediaev, 59, is a prominent figure in the Kemerovo region, where the mining sector is an engine of the economy.
The businessman was ranked 177th in the list of richest people in Russia in 2019, with an estimated fortune of $ 550 million, according to the trade magazine Forbes.
His son Pavel is also a member of the Kremlin Party, United Russia.
On November 25, 2021, 51 people, including five rescuers, perished in the Listviajnaya coal mine belonging to SDS-Ougol.
A firedamp, an explosion caused by a mixture of oxygen and methane, had likely caused the accident when 285 people were in the mine.
Accidents in mines in Russia, as elsewhere in the former USSR, remain frequent and are often linked to laxity in the application of safety rules, mismanagement, corruption or obsolete equipment.
In October 2019, the rupture of an illegal dam at a gold mine in Siberia killed 17 people. In the same month, three people were killed after an accident at a mine of the Norilsk Nickel group, the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium, in the Arctic.
In August 2017, eight workers disappeared in Siberia after a flood in a diamond mine operated by Russian giant Alrosa. The latter announced the abandonment of the search after three weeks of rescue operations.
Another accident left 91 dead and more than a hundred injured in the Raspadskaya mine, in the Kemerovo region, in May 2010. A firedamp blow occurred while 300 miners were underground.