Destinations Magazine

Mining in Turkey: Death Underground

By Stizzard
Mining in Turkey: Death underground Soma’s grim scene

TURKEY’S prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, faces public fury after the country’s worst-ever industrial accident. At least 282 miners died after an explosion at the Soma mine in the western province of Manisa on May 13th. Rescue workers battled to rescue hundreds more feared to be trapped in galleries where fires continued to rage. More than 350 were saved. Taner Yildiz, the energy minister, declined to say exactly many people were inside the mine when the accident happened.A stream of dead miners, faces blackened by coal, were pulled out, as crowds of stricken relatives strained to identify loved ones. “Our hopes are fading,” Mr Yildiz conceded. Most of the dead were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning. The government announced three days of national mourning. Mr Erdogan cancelled a trip to Albania to go to Soma, where he pledged a thorough investigation, was booed, and sought refuge in a shop, only to scuffle with furious protesters.The Soma accident will focus new attention on Turkey’s dismal coal-mining safety record. Nearly 600 miners have died since 1983, before this week. “Eighty percent of these could…

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