Turkey's opposition forms crisis desk for mine disaster

Turkey's main opposition party has formed a crisis desk to do whatever they can in terms of legal and administrative help

Turkey's main opposition party has formed a crisis desk to do whatever they can in terms of legal and administrative help

ANKARA - Turkey's main opposition party announced Thursday that it has established a crisis management desk for Tuesday's coal mine disaster in western Turkey.

Speaking at a central executive board meeting on Thursday, Gursel Tekin, General Secretary of Republican People's Party (CHP), said "CHP will closely follow the process day by day" and added that the party will do whatever it takes, both in legal and administrative ways.

"We are in a struggle to rescue trapped miners," added Tekin who also offered his condolences to those affected and called for patience. 

"Whoever is responsible for this disaster must immediately resign," Tekin added.

Meanwhile the death toll from the coal mine disaster in the town of Soma in western Turkey had reached 282 by Thursday morning according to the country’s energy minister, Taner Yildiz. 

Turkey has declared three days of national mourning for the victims of the fire, during which flags will fly at half-mast and parliament will be closed.

Mines and stone quarries are the most dangerous places for Turkish workers, according to government statistics.

More than 3,000 people have died and more than 100,000 have been injured in mining accidents since 1941 in the country figures from Turkey's statistics agency, TurkStat, show.

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