Coal production stops due to fire at Soma mine
MANİSA – Doğan News Agency
Operations at the Işıklar Mine started on Oct. 15 with 1,700 miners, after the reports for opening the mine were finalized on Oct. 13.Operations at a mine in the disaster-struck town of Soma, owned by the same company that operated the mine where 301 workers were killed in Turkey’s largest mining disaster in May, were halted by a fire that broke out due to an increase in the gas level.
The fire broke out at the Işıklar Mine late on Oct. 26, as a result of high levels of carbon monoxide and methane gas inside the 3rd and 4th sections of the mine, after which miners were evacuated and barrages were built to curtail the blaze.
Operations at the Eynez, Işıklar and Atabacası mines, which are all owned by the Soma Mining Company, were halted for an indefinite period of time after an explosion took place in the Eynez Mine in May, killing 301 miners. Operations at the Işıklar Mine started on Oct. 15 with 1,700 miners, after the reports for opening the mine were finalized on Oct. 13.
Soma District Governor Bahattin Atçı said miners went on a strike for two days last week due to the halt in production, demanding their salaries. Carbon monoxide and methane levels had increased and the mines were closed for 10 days to avoid exposing the miners to the gas.
“Workers went on a strike for two days because they did not receive their wages. But once they entered the mine, they realized the [gas] levels were over the working limit. Production was stopped and the work [of firefighting and security teams] is ongoing,” said Atçı.
Stating that walls were built ahead of the two sections of the mine to prevent oxygen from entering, Atçı said production in the mine has been halted, according to information shared by company officials.
“After this period [of 10 days] comes to an end, teams will open the wall, take the necessary measurements that will determine the course of their work,” said Atçı.