|People attend aprotest in Ankara, May 15, 2014. A protest erupted in Turkey'scapital on Thursday, demanding the government to resign for theresponsibility of the Soma mine blast.(Xinhua/Mustafa Kaya)
SOMA, Turkey, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Friday the death toll in the country's biggest mine disaster has reached 284 after another body of miner was found.
Up to 18 miners were still thought to be trapped in the Soma mine, said Yildiz, adding that the final death toll in the mine explosion could be around 300.
"I say this number based on families' testimonies and the documents provided by the company. We saw that there were workers who entered back into the mine during the shift change," Yildiz said.
"There are two or three workers that we are not certain about. But at least we have announced the upmost number. We hope that the number will be under that. I believe that this will be concluded with a death toll of 299, or 300, or 302 of our worker brothers," said the minister.
The disaster occurred in the privately-owned mine in the western province of Manisa during a shift changeover on Tuesday. A fire was still continuing at the mine despite efforts to extinguish most of it, said Yildiz.
"The explosion was not due to negligence on our part," said Akin Celik, the manager of the Soma coal mine. He didn't comment further on the cause of the explosion.
Photo >>Rescue work continues to save trapped miners in Turkey
Wrath wraps Turkey over mass deaths in mine collapse
UN chief saddened by Turkey's mine tragedy
UNITED NATIONS, May 15 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday that he was deeply saddened by a coal mine accident in Turkey, in which nearly 300 people were killed and many others missing or seriously injured.
A statement issued by his spokesperson said the UN chief stood together with the people of Turkey as they mourned fathers, sons and brothers, and attend to the wounded. Full story
Chinese premier sends condolences to Turkey over coal mine explosion
BEIJING, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sent his condolences to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday over the hundreds killed in the deadly coal mine explosion in Turkey.
In the message, Li said he was deeply saddened by the accident and felt deeply grieved over the deaths of the victims, and expressed sincere condolences to the Turkish government, families of the dead, and the injured. Full story
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