|A miner was rescuedout of the mine in Manisa on May 14, 2014. The death toll of Turkey's coal mine disaster Tuesday has reached 282, making it the country' s worst industrial disaster in history, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said early Thursday. (Xinhua/Lu Zhe)
SOMA, Turkey, May 15 (Xinhua) -- The death toll of Turkey's coal mine disaster Tuesday has reached 282, making it the country' s worst industrial disaster in history, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said early Thursday.
Yildiz said that a fire was continuing at the mine shaft and rescue operations were suspended during the night due to accumulated carbon monoxide.
Hopes of finding more survivors are diminishing. During the last 12 hours, no miner has been rescued alive.
The disaster occurred in the privately-owned mine in the western province of Manisa during a shift changeover. The fire broke out 150 meters underground, Yildiz said.
As Soma Madencilik, the company that owns the mine, does not keep entry and exit records, no exact number is available of how many people remain trapped underground.
According to miners, between 700 and 800 workers work in one shift, and the blast happened during a shift change. There was also no clear information on the ratio of carbon dioxide and oxygen inside the mine.
There are about 1,000 people, including four rescue teams, police and journalists on the rescue scene and security has been strengthened. Family members of miners are not allowed to stay at the rescue scene.
Mines and stone quarries appear as some of the most dangerous places for Turkish workers, according to government statistics.
More than 3,000 people have died and more than 100,000 have been injured in mining accidents since 1941 in Turkey, figures from Turkey's statistics agency show.
The last major mining tragedy in Turkey occurred in 1992, when a fire and explosion killed 263 people. Two other big mining accidents took place in 1983 and 1990, leaving 103 and 68 dead respectively.
Photo >>Death toll rises to 238 in Turkey mine explosion
Photo >>Rescue work continues to save trapped miners in Turkey
Wrath wraps Turkey over mass deaths in mine collapse
ANKARA, May 14 (Xinhua) -- The outrage over the death of at least 245 coal miners in the western Turkish town of Soma has sparked anti-government protests Wednesday across the nation with crowds chanting for resignation of the government.
Angry relatives of the victims booed Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and called for his resignation during his visit to Soma where some 400 rescuers have been scrambled to save trapped miners estimated to be over 100. Full story
Albanian president sends Turkey condolences over mine disaster
TIRANA, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Albanian President Bujar Nishani sent Wednesday a condolences message to his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul, through which he expresses Albania's feelings of support and solidarity for the victims of mine accident in Turkey, according to Albanian Telegraphic Agency.
"The Albanian people are following with deep concern the recent developments related to the serious tragedy caused by the mine explosion in Somas that has resulted in the loss of lives and injury of hundreds of mine workers," Nishani's message says. Full story
U.S. ready to help in Turkey's mining disaster
WASHINGTON, May 14 (Xinhua) -- The White House on Wednesday offered its condolences over a deadly coal mine explosion in Turkey, saying the United States was ready to help.
Spokesman Jay Carney offered his "heartfelt condolences" to the families of the 238 dead and "best wishes" for a safe exit of 120 others still trapped underground. Full story