(Soma) TURKEY – The death toll in Turkey still continues. The blast in the coal mine which took place yesterday still have its impact. Rescuers are still working in rescuing the miners from the mine, and even after 12 hours of the blast the more dead than injured are rescued from the mine.
Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told the reporters on the scene that, “We are worried that this death toll will rise … I have to say that our hopes are dimming in terms of the rescue efforts”.
At least 80 miners were injured, including four who were in serious condition, Yildiz told reporters in Soma, as he oversaw the rescue operation involving more than 400 rescuers.
“Regarding the rescue operation, I can say that our hopes are diminishing,” Yildiz said.
The certainty of the presence of the fellow miners is still there. Oxygen is being pumped into the shafts of the mine to save the miners stuck from dying. The blast which broke out seems to have its root into the electric cause, and almost 787 workers were present at the time fire broke out.
Authorities say the disaster followed an explosion and fire caused by a power distribution unit. Nurettin Akcul, a mining trade union leader, told HaberTurk television that Turkey was likely facing its worst mining accident ever.
“Time is working against us. We fear that the numbers could rise further,” Yildiz said. “We have to finish this (rescue operation) by dawn. I have to say that our pain, our trouble could increase.”
The major impact on the death toll counts so because during the time fire broke out, it was the time of change in the shifts. And thus estimates cannot be made of how many workers are still stucked inside the mine.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has cancelled a day trip to Albania, scheduled for Wednesday. Turkey’s Labor and Social Security Ministry said the mine had been inspected five times since 2012, including in March of 2014, and that no issues violating work safety and security were detected. The Labor Ministry claims to have made an inspection in March and have found no faults in the mechanism.
Turkey even had a worst experience in mining blast in 1992, when a gas explosion killed 263 workers in the Black Sea Province of Zonguldak.