Death toll in Turkey's coal mine disaster rises to 292 after eight more miners are found by rescue teams
MANISA - Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said late on Friday that the bodies of eight miners had been recovered from the mine in Soma, western Turkey, bringing the death toll from the disaster to 292.
Rescue teams are now trying to save 9-10 workers who are still trapped underground.
Earlier Yildiz had said that a fire in the mine that was hampering rescue efforts had been largely extinguished enabling rescue teams in their efforts.
Meanwhile Huseyin Celik, Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party Deputy Chairman and spokesperson, has promised a full-scale investigation into Tuesday’s coal mine disaster.
"Those responsible for the accident will be held accountable,” Celik said.
The coal mine managers have denied claims of negligence during a press conference on Friday stating that the cause of the fire is still unknown and insisting they took all necessary measures to prevent the incident.
"There was no negligence,” operating manager, Akin Celik, said, “the focus so far has been on rescuing the workers, we haven't found out yet how the fire started."
Turkey’s top judicial body has appointed 28 prosecutors to coordinate investigations over the mining disaster and they have started collecting testimonies, according to the prosecutor’s office.
The views of an occupational safety expert committee, composed of electrical engineers and experts in mining, will also be included in the investigation.
Tuesday’s mine accident in Soma is the deadliest in Turkey’s history surpassing an explosion of firedamp, a flammable gas found in coalmines, that killed 263 miners in Zonguldak in 1992.
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