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 Post subject: 166 dead, many trapped in Turkish coal mine
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 9:37 pm 
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166 dead, many trapped in Turkish coal mine

SOMA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's energy minister has raised the death toll from an explosion and fire at a coal mine in western Turkey to 166. Some 200 people are still believed trapped inside the mine.


Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said early Wednesday that 787 people were working inside at the time of the accident in the coal mine in Soma, some 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of Istanbul.

He says 80 mine workers were injured and at least four of them are in serious condition.

This is a developing story. Please check back for additional details.

EARLIER:

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — An explosion and a fire Tuesday killed at least 151 workers at a coal mine in western Turkey and hundreds more remained trapped underground, government officials said as Turkey launched a massive rescue operation.

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. He said 76 miners were injured, including one who was in serious condition. The mine is located some 250 kilometers (155.35 miles) from Istanbul.

Authorities say the disaster followed an explosion and fire caused by a power distribution unit.

Yildiz said most of the deaths were the result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

"Time is working against us," Yildiz said earlier. He said some 400 rescuers were involved in the operation.

Yildiz said some of the workers were 420 meters (460 yards) deep inside the mine.

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.

Authorities had earlier said that the blast left between 200 to 300 miners underground and were preparing for the possibility that the death toll could jump dramatically, making arrangements to set up a cold storage facility to hold the corpses of miners recovered from the site.

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

The rescue effort was being hampered by the fact that the mine was made up of tunnels that were kilometers (miles) long, said Cengiz Ergun, the leader of Manisa province, where the town is located.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the mine and the hospital in Soma seeking news of their loved ones. NTV television said people broke into applause as rescued workers arrived in ambulances. Interviewed by Dogan news agency, some complained about the lack of information from state and company officials about the situation of the trapped workers.

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



SOMA Komur Isletmeleri A.S., which owns the mine, confirmed that a number of its workers were killed but would not give a specific figure. It 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.

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 Post subject: Re: 166 dead, many trapped in Turkish coal mine
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 7:04 pm 
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Death toll now up to 274.

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 Post subject: Re: 166 dead, many trapped in Turkish coal mine
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 11:09 pm 
My lord. I hope that they didn't suffer. The men who haven't been found have my prayers.


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 Post subject: Re: 166 dead, many trapped in Turkish coal mine
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 8:23 am 
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chemistry1969 wrote:
Death toll now up to 274.


One report I read stated that there were up to 2,000, yes two THOUSAND people working underground at this mine. Holy Smoke! Is that common to have that many people working underground in a coal mine? What were they all doing down there? I thought that with developments such as "continuous miners" and conveyor belts you wouldn't need as many people.

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Fred M. Cain


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 Post subject: Re: 166 dead, many trapped in Turkish coal mine
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 3:57 am 
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Fred,
no offense intended but in poorer, undeveloped countries, all they have is their populations. So any mechanical improvements may be very limited due to inability to fund.
There is a Youtube video of an Albanian coal mine with battery-electric trammers obviously after all the batteries died, being driven hooked up to an improvised overhead, the trammer operator holding a hook to create contact as there are no pantograph nor trolley pole. Often in places like that the purchasers of the coal can't afford any more thus the improvisation or close due to lack of sales.

Sometimes you just have to see it from another point of view outside of the USA.

Regards
Chris
in New Zealand

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 Post subject: Re: 166 dead, many trapped in Turkish coal mine
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 12:19 pm 
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Chris,

That is kind of what I was wondering - if they were trying to substitute human bodies for machines. Recently there were some pictures in the National Geographic Magazine of a coal mine in India. This mine was so primitive it didn't even have ore cars at all. People would load baskets of coal and drag them out of the drifts to a large vertical shaft where the baskets were then lifted to the surface with ropes. Miners would descend into the mine and climb out again using rickety ladders in the shaft - no lift cages! It looked to me like almost unbearable conditions. American miners probably have it pretty good - when they're able to find work, anyways!

Regards,
Fred M. Cain


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 Post subject: Re: 166 dead, many trapped in Turkish coal mine
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 12:38 pm 
Fred, the advances like lift cages and ore cars didn't come along until the Industrial Revolution. The mine in India is operating the way mines did until a couple hundred years ago. They are mining the same way the ancient Romans, Chinese, Greek, Turks, French, British, etc, did.


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