Turkey's mine disaster leaves 301 dead

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Turkey's Energy Minister has put the death toll from the country's worst mining disaster at 301

Turkey's Energy Minister has put the death toll from the country's worst mining disaster at 301

MANISA - The death toll from the mine disaster in Soma, western Turkey, is now 301 Turkey’s Energy Minister Taner Yildiz has announced, after rescue teams brought up the bodies of the last two remaining miners.

Yildiz added that 485 miners had been rescued and that the all the miners killed had now been identified.

An investigation into the cause of the incident will include technical and administrative inquiries, Yildiz said as he dismissed the “humiliating” allegations that Syrians were working in the mine.

Previously Yildiz stated that any negligence on the part of officials or the company managing the mine will be punished.

Touching on speculation about mines in Turkey operating contrary to regulations, the minister said, 114 mines had been shut down over the last three years for not adhering to legal regulations.

Pointing to a new legal regulation in mining sector, Yildiz also stated a research motion had been submitted to parliament and the council of ministers would hold a meeting on this issue on Tuesday. 

Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci has said that the government will do its best to improve the plight of the miners who have survived this tragedy and the relatives of those killed.  

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has signed a notice to launch an aid campaign for the relatives of the victims of the mining disaster. 

Separately, Turkey’s Labor and Social Security Minister Faruk Celik announced that an official investigation into the reasons of the disaster was underway, adding that the mine in Soma had undergone 16 different inspections in the last two years.

Following the disaster many world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama and Jordan’s King Abdullah II, passed on their condolences and offered assistance.

Tuesday’s mine accident in Soma is the deadliest in Turkey’s history surpassing a firedamp explosion that killed 263 miners in Zonguldak in 1992.

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