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Mine Disaster ‘Worst in Turkish History’

Posted by feww on May 15, 2014


Three days of mourning for the disaster victims begins in Turkey

Death toll in Turkey’s worst ever mine disaster has climbed to more than 300 with many miners still unaccounted for.

Officials say it would be highly unlikely to find any survivors, suggesting that the death toll could rise higher, with at least 150 miners still missing.

About 800 people were inside the mine at Soma in Manisa province, some 250km south of Istanbul, and 450km west of the capital Ankara, Turkey, when an electrical fault triggered the explosion.

Many of deaths occurred as a result carbon monoxide poisoning. Most of the victims were trapped as far as 2km below the surface and 4km from the mine entrance.

Turkey uses coal to generate about 40% of its electricity and coal mining is a major industry in the Soma area.

The country’s worst mining disaster until now was the 1992 mine explosion near Zonguldak on the Black Sea, when 270 miners perished.

More than 30,000 coal mining incidents in Turkey have killed at least 1,300 miners and left tens of thousands of others injured since 2000.

Nationwide Protests

The outrage over the disaster has sparked violent, anti-government protests Wednesday across the country with the angry crowds demanding resignation of the government.

Meanwhile, several major groups of unions have agreed to a nationwide strike in response to the government’s handling of mine safety issues.

The head of the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions of Turkey has called on citizens to wear black and march on the Ministry of Labor, according to reports.

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