At least 40 dead after an explosion in a mine in Turkey

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At least 40 dead after an explosion in a mine in Turkey

A woman is distraught after the deadly explosion.

Rescuers ended their search on Saturday at the Amasra coal mine in northwestern Turkey after the lifeless body of the last missing miner was found, raising the toll of the firedamp strike which occurred Friday evening with 41 dead and 28 injured.

“Our priority was to find the minors in the gallery. We finally reached the last one. He also died, bringing the death toll to 41.”

—Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, who came to the scene on Saturday

Visibly upset, with tears in his eyes, Energy Minister Fatih Donmez had earlier indicated the imminent end of continuing rescue operations for one person, whose fate [remained] unknown.


Rescuers searched desperately for signs of life after the methane explosion.

Nearly a hundred miners were at the back of the gallery when the explosion, apparently caused by a firedamp strike, on Friday at around 6:15 p.m. local time, just before dark, which caused slowed down the search.

According to the Minister of the Interior, Süleyman Soylu, 58 minors could be saved, by themselves or thanks to the help.

< p class="e-p">The first uninjured survivors to the surface insisted on helping with the rescue as miners rushed from across the region to help.

So Adem Usluoglu , employee of another mine, immediately presented himself: Some were burned alive, seriously injured by the force of the explosion, he told AFP. My heart is horribly heavy.

All night, the relatives of the miners, consumed with anguish and many in tears, waited for news in front of the mine .

Work accidents are common in Turkey, especially in mining.

A woman in shock had to be evacuated, other people prayed leaning on the barriers that closed the scene, while the survivors supported each other.

There are no survival quarters or pockets to shelter in the mine, Ilyas Borekci, deputy manager of a nearby mine who dispatched three teams, told AFP. relief as reinforcement. The only chance of survival is to get out immediately.

The Head of State addressed the miners who came out of the mine alive and announced a full investigation: How did this explosion happen and who is responsible? All this will be determined by an administrative and judicial investigation which has already begun, he assured.

He had already promised on Twitter that no negligence will be without consequence .

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Amasra at the scene of the disaster.< /p>

The Head of State also blamed fate. The Amasra mine is one of the most advanced […]. But we are people who believe in fate and this kind of thing will always happen, you have to know that, he declared before the grieving assembly before visiting the wounded treated on the spot.

Mr. Erdogan, in power since 2003 and a candidate for his succession next June, also promised that the state will take care of and protect the families of the victims.

It is& #x27;visited families to attend funerals, including in the village of Makaraci, where four of the victims were from.

A woman took him shouted out in front of the cameras:

“My brother told me there was a [methane] gas leak. ''This is going to blow us up,'' he said. How could such negligence be overlooked?!

— The sister of a victim

Opposition (CHP) leader Kemal Kiliçdaroglu also attended some of the ceremonies in the villages.

Our first observations indicate that part of the [miners] lost their lives due to the high pressure and heat caused by the explosion, had indicated in the night the Minister of Energy.

Men carry a coffin covered with the Turkish flag during the funeral ceremony for Selcuk Ayvaz, a miner who died during the explosion in the coal mine at Amasra.

The accident and its heavy toll prompted many reactions of solidarity, including that of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Twitter, who said he was saddened despite the extreme tension between the two countries.

Russian Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky offered their condolences, the latter in Turkish, on Twitter, as did European Council President Charles Michel.

Work accidents are frequent in Turkey, where the strong economic development of the past decade has often come at the expense of safety rules, especially in construction and operation mining.

The latest, at the Soma mine in 2014, killed 301 miners after an explosion, followed by a fire, caused the explosion. #x27;well collapse.

Penalties of up to 22 years imprisonment had been pronounced by the Turkish courts against five managers of the mine, found guilty of negligence.

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