This morning, a soil subsidence occurred under the train tracks of a 6-km bypass railroad spur near Berezniki (Perm Territory) when a freight train was passing through this railroad section. The subsidence resulted in the formation of a crater, currently measuring about 20 by 10 meters. The soil subsidence did not cause any injuries. At present, Berezniki Administration executives and representatives of EMERCOM, Rostekhnadzor, the Sverdlovsk Railways and scientific organizations are studying the situation on the spot.
The subsidence occurred outside of the Uralkali industrial premises. Uralkali used the 6-km train tracks to transport potash from the plant of Mine Group 1 (BKPRU-1), whose annual capacity is about 300 thousand tonnes of potash. The Company's production capacity is 5.5 million tonnes of potash, with about 95% of its products transported using another rail track.
At present, Uralkali is using motor vehicular transportation to deliver the greater part of its products from BKPRU-1 to loading terminals located at the railroad line used by the company. Uralkali does not anticipate any changes in its production plan and continues to explore possibilities for optimizing its production process.
In order to eliminate risks associated with soil subsidence in the area of the 6-km bypass railroad spur, a new 53-km bypass railroad spur was put into operation in 2009, and the main freight traffic of the Berezniki–Solikamsk transportation junction was redirected to the new line. As part of its social responsibility efforts, Uralkali participated in the financing of the construction of the 53-kilometer Yaiva-Solikamsk railroad bypass, covering the areas of the Verkhnekamskoye potash-magnesium salts deposit, and allocated 6 billion roubles to the project.