Transcript from Mining Today, July 1998 Issue:
Mirny Diamond Mine in Eastern Siberia is tentatively being reopened this week after sudden flooding caused several cave-ins and a complete stop to all operations last fall.
“We are all saddened by the loss of life that occurred here in September,” spokesman Andrei Volgin said in a statement issued on Monday. “But we have implemented many new safety protocols, and geologists have spent several weeks checking and double checking our tunnel routes to ensure this does not happen again.”
Several of the miners remain unconvinced, however, and have refused to return to work. They claim they had felt “uneasy” in the mine for months prior to the incident, and do not seem convinced that additional struts or teams of experts are making it any safer.
“I go to the mines to provide for my family. Digging diamonds is good work, but not worth it if you’re dead,” says Vassily Agapov. “Or worse,” he adds after a long moment.
Agapov was put on leave of absence this week, after he used company blasting supplies in an apparent attempt to collapse the deeper tunnels completely. Criminal charges are being discussed. When asked why he did this, he states it was “the voice of God and a desire to help his comrades.”
Agapov further claims that he discovered symbols and etchings in the portion of the tunnels ravaged by the flood waters; while he refused to draw the symbols, or to speak the phrases out loud, he wrote the following after repeated questionings:
For our English audiences, the phrase reads as follows: “Disturb not the Watchers. The Watchers stand guard. The Warriors must not be loosed. Disturb not the Watchers,” if one is willing to make some adjustments for idiomatic phrases.