.- Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., has sent a telegram of condolence, in the name of the Holy Father, to Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, for the many victims of two recent disasters in the country: an explosion in a mine and a fire in a home for the elderly.
"Profoundly saddened by the terrible tragedy in the mine of Novokuznetsk and the violent conflagration at the old people's home in the village of Kamyshevatskaya, with the tragic death of many people and large numbers of injured, the Holy Father expresses his spiritual closeness to the citizens struck by these tragic events and to the entire population of the Russian Federation in these hours of anguish.”
“While raising fervent prayers to the Lord for the eternal repose of the deceased, he invokes heavenly consolation upon those weeping the loss of their loved ones,” the message continued.
“The Supreme Pontiff, in expressing his hopes for the speedy recovery of those injured in these incidents, offers his sincere condolences to relatives of the victims, invoking upon everyone abundant consolation from heaven.”
President Putin declared a state of mourning throughout the country after the two separate disasters, along with a recent plane crash, claimed the lives of at least 176 people.
A local official told Reuters on Wednesday that while rescuers continue to sift through the aftermath of a coal mine explosion, they don’t expect to find any more survivors.
An enormous gas explosion occurred at the coal mine, which is located in Siberia, killing at least 107 people.
Saturday’s plane crash killed six, but Monday night’s fire at an old people's home near the Black Sea initially left 62 dead. According to local media, another elderly resident of the home died in the hospital overnight from a heart attack brought on by the fire.
According to Reuters, flags flew at half mast across Russia on Wednesday and entertainment programs were cancelled as the country mourned the losses.