The number of deaths due to coal mine explosion In Turkey, it rose to 40, this Saturday (15) the country’s Minister of the Interior, Suleyman Soylu, reported.
Rescue teams are still searching for dozens of miners trapped inside the mine in Amasra, in the northeast of the country, on the shores of the Black Sea. The explosion, which occurred in the late afternoon of Friday (14), It is already considered one of the worst industrial accidents in the country.
According to Soylu, of the total 110 miners working in the mine, 52 They were trapped in underground galleries located 300 and 350 meters below sea level. There is still missing.
Another 58 were rescued alive or managed to escape on their own.
According to Energy Minister Fatih Donmez, the initial hypothesis is that the detonation was caused by the accumulation of flame, a gas common in underground mines, consisting mainly of methane.
People accompany rescue work at a mine in Amsra, Turkey, where an explosion was trapped on October 14, 2022. – Photo: Kagla Gordogan/Reuters
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan canceled his schedule to travel to the crash site on Saturday.
“We hope that the loss of life will not be greater and that our miners can leave safely,” he stated.
According to the Minister of Health in turkeyFakhruddin Koca, 11 people were taken to hospital after being rescued from under the rubble.
The home secretary said he faced a “really sad look” when he attended the scene of the tragedy alongside the energy minister.
Local television footage showed hundreds of people gathering, many in tears, in front of a damaged white building near the entrance to the mine.
Coal mine explosion in Turkey leaves 100 miners stranded. Photo: Reuters
AFAD, the government agency responsible for disaster management in turkeyinitially announced that a defective transformer was the cause of the explosion, but later corrected this information and stated that it was methane that exploded for “unknown” reasons.
“I don’t know what happened. There was sudden pressure and I didn’t see anything else,” a worker who managed to get out of the tunnels on his own told the state-run Anadolu Agency.
Pictures broadcast on Turkish television showed paramedics providing oxygen to workers who were able to get out and then taken to nearby hospitals.
The local governor said that a team of more than 70 rescuers managed to reach a point about 250 meters underground.
“Rescue efforts are continuing,” the provincial governor said. It remains unclear whether the teams will be able to get close to the workers and what might get in their way.
The mayor of Amasra, Rikai Cakir, indicated that “nearly half of the workers have been evacuated,” according to what Turkish broadcaster NTV reported. “Most of them are fine, although some are seriously injured,” he added.
Rescue work continues until the early hours of the morning, despite the added difficulty of the lack of light.
The local prosecutor’s office said it was treating the incident as an accident and opened an official investigation.
Work accidents are common in turkeyThe strong economic development of the last decade has often come at the expense of safety standards, particularly in construction and mining.
The country suffered its worst mining disaster in 2014, when 301 miners died in an explosion in the western city of Soma.
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