Sunday, 16 October 2022
The funerals for miners killed in a coal mine explosion in the Black Sea coastal province of Bartın, were held on Saturday. The death toll has risen to at least 41 miners, Turkish daily ‘Hurriyet’ reported.
There were 110 miners working several hundred metres below ground when the explosion occurred on Friday evening.
Eleven workers were injured, five seriously, meanwhile 59 other miners managed to get out of the mine unaided or were rescued unharmed.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan arrived at the scene and said the body of one missing miner had finally been reached, confirming 41 were dead. Erdoğan was flanked by officials, miners and rescuers, as he vowed to bring an end to mining disasters, while saying he believes in “fate”. He attended the funeral prayers for 22-year-old Rahman Özçelik. Three other miners were mourned in the same village.
“We don’t want to see deficiencies or unnecessary risks”, Erdoğan said, and added that an investigation would reveal if anyone is responsible for the blast.
It is reported that an accumulation of fire-damp caused the explosion. Fire-damp is methane which forms an especially explosive mixture with air in coal mines.
Three prosecutors are investigating the cause of the explosion, energy minister Fatih Dönmez said.
The worst coal mining disaster occurred in Soma in western Turkey in 2014, when 301 miners died after a fire broke out inside a coal mine.