The rescue teams are working hard on Wednesday to evacuate hundreds of workers who remain trapped in the coal mine of the Turkish town of Soma, where an explosion has caused far death of 238 miners. During Wednesday morning have been rescued only nine workers and the hope of finding more people alive is reduced, according to authorities in Turkey. ” We are concerned about the possibility that the death toll could increase,” said Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, who warned that it could be ” the worst mining accident ” of history.
The minister explained that at the time of the accident, caused by a failure in the electrical system, 787 workers were in the mine, of which 363 had been rescued, including 80 wounded. Yildiz said that the fire inside the mine and carbon monoxide hamper rescue efforts to the point that members of rescue teams are among the wounded and dead. Soma is in the western province of Manisa, 250 kilometers from Istanbul.
The mayor of the mining town of Manisa, Cengiz Ergun had anticipated the magnitude of the tragedy. “We have received information Rescuers found inside the mine. They have been rescued and 75 wounded and recovered about 166 bodies. I fear that this number will rise, “said the alderman. All body counts then agreed on one thing, the numbers would increase.
The accident occurred during a shift change, explained a local union office. Hence the large number of workers. Nurettin Akcul, leader of the syndicated national metalworkers, told CNN Turk chain explosion occurred 200 meters deep. Mehmet Bahattin Atci Mayor Soma, also told CNNTürk hours before the explosion had been caused by an electrical fault.
Last night, efforts were concentrated on reaching the hundreds of possible survivors trapped inside the galleries. Rescuers injecting oxygen into the mine to try to keep alive trapped while relatives and colleagues flocked to the gates of the local hospital asking for information. ” The emergency teams are by injecting oxygen, but the fire is still off,” he said in a telephone interview with Reuters Kucukgencay Tamer, head of the local union.
Meanwhile, the private news agency Dogan quoted by Efe reported that his special envoys were watching how many ambulances were heading to a large refrigerator in the nearby town center of Kirkagac, which came to confirm that the death toll was elevated. An opposition deputy who was at the scene by the energy minister said by telephone Efe that the death toll could reach 250.
The worst mining accident in Turkey occurred in 1992 in the town of Zonguldak on the Black Sea coast, where 270 workers died. The second and third worst incident took place in 1983 and 1990 and left 103 dead and 68, respectively, in the paths of methane gas explosions. Turkish Mining unions have denounced for years the lack of safety measures and equipment, which makes Turkey the European country with more accidents in mines.