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Death toll rises to 232 in Turkey mine explosion

English.news.cn   2014-05-14 21:31:39
 • The death toll of Turkey's coal mine accident Tuesday has risen to 232 Wednesday.
 • Prime Minister Erdogan has arrived at the site of the accident in the western province of Manisa.
 • The disaster occurred in the privately-owned mine during a shift changeover.

 

Photo released byTurkey NTV shows rescue efforts being carried out following a coalmine explosion and fire in the district of Soma in Turkey's westernManisa province. The Turkish government announced early Wednesdaythat so far, 201 miners are known to have lost their lives and atleast 80 have been injured in a coal mine explosion and fire inTurkey's western Manisa province on May 13. (Xinhua/Turkey NTV)

ISTANBUL/ANKARA, May 14 (Xinhua) -- The death toll of Turkey's coal mine accident Tuesday has risen to 232 Wednesday as the country declares a three-day national mourning.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arrived at the site of the accident in the western province of Manisa, where hundreds of miners remained trapped underground.

Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said most of the victims died of carbon monoxide poisoning following a fire and explosion at the mine in the district of Soma.

The disaster occurred in the privately-owned mine during a shift changeover. The fire broke out 150 meters underground, Yildiz said.

He said the accident could become "the worst disaster" in Turkish history, since hundreds more remained trapped underground.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul has cancelled an official visit to China, scheduled for May 15-21, over the disaster. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also called off a trip to Albania.

Yildiz, the energy minister, said that 363 miners of the 787 who were working underground at the time of accident have been accounted for, including the deceased.

Rescue efforts are continuing, but hopes of finding more survivors are diminishing.

The accident has sparked widespread anger as many denounced poor safety measures, accusing the government and mine companies of "negligence."

Anti-government protests were staged in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya and other cities over the latest mining accident, demanding the resignation of the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP.

More than 500 people gathered in front of the Soma Holding headquarters in Istanbul around noon Wednesday.

In the capital Ankara, riot police fired tear gas and water cannon at hundreds of university student protesters who tried to march to the Ministry of Energy, daily Hurriyet reported.

The Worker Unions announced a nation-wide general strike on Thursday.

Also on Wednesday, a coal mine operating without a license collapsed in Gelik village of the Black Sea province of Zonguldak in northern Turkey, trapping the owner underground, according to private Dogan News Agency.

Mining accidents kill dozens of miners each year in Turkey.

The last major mining tragedy in Turkey occurred in 1992, when a fire and explosion killed 263 people. Two other mining accidents took place in 1983 and 1990, leaving 103 and 68 dead respectively.

In a related development, Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham offered condolences to Turkey on Wednesday over the latest mining disaster and expressed readiness to help the rescue efforts, Tasnim news agency reported.

Related:

Photo>> Rescue work continues to save trapped miners in Turkey

Turkey declares 3 days of mourning over mine disaster

ANKARA/ISTANBUL, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Turkey has declared three days of national mourning for victims of a coal mine explosion on Tuesday that killed at least 205 people and left hundreds more trapped underground, the prime minister's office said Wednesday.

The accident happened in a mine in the western province of Manisa, where a fire broke out following an explosion in a power distribution unit. Most of the victims died of carbon monoxide poisoning, said Minister of Energy Taner Yildiz. Full story

Turkey declares 3 days of mourning over mine disaster

ANKARA/ISTANBUL, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Turkey has declared three days of national mourning for victims of a coal mine explosion on Tuesday that killed at least 205 people and left hundreds more trapped underground, the prime minister's office said Wednesday.

The accident happened in a mine in the western province of Manisa, where a fire broke out following an explosion in a power distribution unit. Most of the victims died of carbon monoxide poisoning, said Minister of Energy Taner Yildiz. Full story

Two killed in U.S. coal mine accident

WASHINGTON, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Two miners were killed in a coal mine accident in the U.S. state of West Virginia Monday night, local media reported on Tuesday.

Mine officials said a "coal outburst" - which involved the violent spewing of rock and coal from the mine - led to "ground failure" at around 8:30 p.m. local time (0030 GMT Tuesday), according to the report.Full story

2 killed, 4 injured in NE China coal mine blast

HARBIN, May 9 (Xinhua) -- Two people were killed and another four injured in an explosion in a coal mine in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province on Friday, authorities said.

The blast took place at around 2 p.m. at Xintie mine in Qitaihe City. Eighty miners were working underground at the time, according to the city government.Full story

Security beefed up at S. African volatile mining area following killings

JOHANNESBURG, May 13 (Xinhua) -- South African police on Tuesday beefed up security in Rustenburg, a volatile mining area in North West Province following the death of three nonstriking miners.

The move came after Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa vowed on Tuesday to intensify police visibility in the platinum belt in anticipation of mineworkers returning to work at Lonmin Plc (Lonmin).Full story

24 injured in blast in southern Afghanistan

QALAT, Afghanistan, May 13 (Xinhua) -- At least 24 people were wounded Tuesday evening in an explosion in Qalat city, the provincial capital of southern Afghan province of Zabul, sources said.

"An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attached to a rickshaw was detonated when a police vehicle was passing by an area at around 6:30 p.m. local time in Qalat city. Eight policemen and 16 civilians were wounded by the blast," a security source told Xinhua anonymously.Full story

Editor: Tang Danlu
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