Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Europe: Rescuers try to save trapped miners in Turkey after explosion and fire leaves at least 201 dead

08:12 14 May 2014

Miners help a rescued friend hours after an explosion and fire at a coal mine killed at least 17 miners and left up to 300 workers trapped underground, in Soma, in western Turkey, late last night a Turkish official said. Twenty people were rescued from the mine but one later died in the hospital, Soma administrator Mehmet Bahattin Atci told reporters. The town is 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of Istanbul. The death toll was expected to rise.(AP Photo)

Miners help a rescued friend hours after an explosion and fire at a coal mine killed at least 17 miners and left up to 300 workers trapped underground, in Soma, in western Turkey, late last night a Turkish official said. Twenty people were rescued from the mine but one later died in the hospital, Soma administrator Mehmet Bahattin Atci told reporters. The town is 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of Istanbul. The death toll was expected to rise.(AP Photo)

Rescuers were struggling to reach more than 200 miners trapped underground after an explosion and fire at a coal mine in western Turkey killed at least 201 workers.

In one of the worst mining disasters in Turkish history, energy minister Taner Yildiz said 787 people were inside the coal mine in Soma at the time of the accident and 363 of them had been rescued so far.

At least 80 miners were injured, including four who were in a serious condition, he told reporters in Soma, as he oversaw the rescue operation involving more than 400 rescuers.

The accident occurred when the workers were preparing for a shift change, officials said, which probably raised the casualty toll because there were more miners inside the mine than usual.

Mr Yildiz said the deaths were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning and feared the death toll could end up much higher than the latest count of 201 workers.

The rescue effort is “reaching a critical stage,” he said, with more deaths likely as time passes.

Earlier, the minister said the rescue operations were hindered because the mine had not completely been cleared of gas.

Authorities say the disaster followed an explosion and fire caused by a power distribution unit at the mine, which is some 155 miles south of Istanbul.

Nurettin Akcul, a mining trade union leader, told HaberTurk television that Turkey was probably facing its worst mining accident ever.

“Time is working against us. We fear that the numbers could rise further,” Mr Yildiz said.

“We have to finish this (rescue operation) by dawn. I have to say that our pain, our trouble could increase.”

Earlier Mr Yildiz said some of the workers were 460 yards deep inside the mine. News reports said the workers could not use lifts to get out of the mine because the explosion had caused a power cut.

Television footage showed people cheering and applauding as some trapped workers emerged out of the mine, helped by rescuers, their faces and hard-hats covered in soot.

One wiped away tears on his jacket, another smiled, waved and flashed a “thumbs up” sign at onlookers.

Dozens of ambulances ferried back and forth bodies and the injured extracted from the mine and rescue workers were massed at the entrance of the mine on a hill side. Family members at the scene pleaded for news of their loved ones.

One woman threw herself on the ground, crying after hearing about the death of a loved one, HaberTurk television showed.

There were tears of joy for another who told the station she had just spoken by telephone to a missing relative.

Police set up fences and stood guard around Soma state hospital to keep the crowds away.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan postponed a one-day visit to Albania scheduled for today and planned to visit Soma instead.

SOMA Komur Isletmeleri, which owns the mine, said the accident occurred despite the “highest safety measures and constant controls” and added that an investigation was being launched.

“Our main priority is to get our workers out so that they may be reunited with their loved ones,” the company said in a statement.

Mining accidents are common in Turkey, which is plagued by poor safety conditions.

Turkey’s worst mining disaster was a 1992 gas explosion that killed 263 workers near the Black Sea port of Zonguldak.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Programme Name: Robot Wars - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: The House Robots Dead Metal, Sir Killalot, Matilda, Shunt - (C) Mentorn Media Scotland - Photographer: Alan Peebles

“For too long, the schedules have cried out for a show in which dedicated amateurs, toiling day and night, handcraft sophisticated automatons built on the delicate interplay of hand-wired servo motors with custom-built circuit boards and fingertip motion control, just to see them get smashed to pieces by a dustbin carrying a massive hammer.

Flower left at Bramford Recreation Ground on Saturday to mark the third anniversary of toddler Ryan Ward's death.

Travellers have arrived at a playing field in Ipswich - almost three years to the day since a toddler was killed in a collision with a van at the same site.

Abellio Greater Anglia

A person has been pronounced dead after being struck by a train near Needham Market station.

A company in Gt. Blakenham has been making insoles for years but everything has suddenly taken off since Usain Bolt started using their products. Pictured is director Bente Smith-Rewse.

He is one of the most recognisable, decorated and influential sportsmen on the planet – but Usain Bolt is now endorsing a product made in the heart of Suffolk.

It's hot up there!

You know it’s hot when your thighs stick together. For men out there, it’s more of a woman thing, writes Lynne Mortimer.

The snake captured by residents in St John's Road, Ipswich.

Brave neighbours came to the aid of a father and his three young daughters who were left stunned when they discovered an exotic-looking snake coiled in their back garden.

England's Harry Martin in 2014.

The greatest sporting spectacle on the planet is almost upon us once again.

Sandcastle building at Southwold

What are we doing today? The summer holidays are here and to help parents in Suffolk we are offering a guide to 12 days out on the Suffolk coast that won’t cost a penny.

Firefighters from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service attended.

Firefighters helped free a baby locked in a car in Ipswich today.

Roadworks currently ongoing at Majors Corner, Ipswich.

Work to upgrade the gas mains in Ipswich’s Woodbridge Road East has been postponed until August 1 following a request from Suffolk County Council.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24