Chilean miners visit Soma mine victims’ graves

Chilean miners visit Soma mine victims’ graves

MANİSA – Anadolu Agency
Chilean miners visit Soma mine victims’ graves

Luis Unzua and Rodrigo Reveco mourn the victims buried in a cemetary near Soma, June 26. AA Photo

Two Chileans who experienced the widely reported mine accident in Copiapo four years ago have visited the cemetery in the western Turkish district of Soma, where 301 workers were killed in a mining disaster on May 13.

Luis Unzua, who spent 69 days underground with his 32 colleagues following the collapse of the San Jose copper-gold mine, and Rodrigo Reveco, the head of the rescue team in Chile’s mine accident, visited the Soma miners’ cemetery on June 25, after holding meetings in Istanbul and Ankara.

“As an engineer and a rescue worker, I feel that what happened here is just like a bad dream; this cannot be real,” said Reveco after his visit to the cemetery.

After looking at a picture of one miner, Ali Çiftçi, which is hanging on his grave and taken from inside the mine, Urzua said cables can be seen openly hanging on the walls of the mine in the photo and added that such negligence makes disasters in mines "inevitable."

“There is a huge crisis here and there are many things to do. As a human being, I am very angry at what happened here. We were lucky and were successful in our rescue work, but the young bodies here are very saddening,” said Roveco.

The Chilean miners also visited the miners in the nearby Kınık district of İzmir, where many victims of the Soma mine were from. There, they met with miners from the DEV MADEN-SEN mining union.

Reveco also said the most important thing in a mine was a good air conditioning system, which the Soma mine appeared to lack.