Miner attempted to commit suicide with belt in Soma, says survivor
Ali Dağlar MANİSA – Hürriyet
One of the survivors of the coal mine disaster in Soma has said one of the workers trapped in the mine attempted to commit suicide with his belt while desperately waiting for rescue, while others hit their heads against the walls.
The death toll of the disaster reached 284, many of whom are thought to have died from carbon-monoxide poisoning. Many workers remain trapped inside the mine as of May 15.
Hasan Özdil, a worker who escaped from the mine only a few minutes before the incident that took place on May 13, told daily Hürriyet that the scene inside the mine was “shocking.”
“I saw a worker with a belt around his neck as he tried to commit suicide. I went to the area a few meters above the explosion. There was gas so I withdrew. I was told that some of the workers there had hit their heads against the walls. Their masks were not working. I have carried this mask for three years but still don’t know what good it does. The masks have to be inspected every six months, but no one inspects,” Özdil said.
He added that he learnt of the explosion inside the mine when he got a call from his chief, who was still in the mine. “This was the last phone call I received from him,” he said.
“The explosion took place around 2,400 meters under the surface. I went into the mine. They were putting people on the conveying belt. There were around 50-60 people there. My friends got onto the conveying belts that carried people and they died there,” Özdil added.