Karaman mine accident due to water accumulated in old facility: Prosecutors
Rescue efforts for the 18 trapped miners at the Karaman mine hit by flooding entered their seventh day on Nov. 3. AA PhotoProsecutors have cited water accumulated in an older facility as the possible cause of the flooding of a mine in the Central Anatolian province of Karaman, as rescue efforts for the 18 trapped miners continued on their seventh day.
Citing a preliminary expert report, prosecutors said the new galleries were unable to withstand the increasing water pressure which suddenly penetrated the facility where miners had been working.
Prosecutors said the definitive cause of the accident could only be determined following the inspection of the site after the end of the rescue efforts.
Despite work continuing non-stop to pump the water out of the mine, none of the trapped miners have been reached either dead or alive, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said Nov. 3.
“[Rescuers] have to work very carefully due to elevated levels of methane carbon dioxide and oxygen. We had an exploration yesterday [Nov. 2], but we haven’t been able to reach any of our brothers yet,” Yıldız told journalists.
Commenting on claims that the accident could be due to the re-exploitation of an old mine, Yıldız assured that negligence claims would be addressed.
He added that the amount of flooded water and mud weighed 2,500 tons.
The accident took place at noon on Oct. 27 as miners were gathered underground to have their lunch. Water flooded the galleries so quickly, survivors said, that most of the miners did not have time to escape.
The accident also revived Turkey’s job safety record and the lack of legal sanctions against employers who fail to implement the necessary measures. The government has been under fire on the issue, particularly since the May 13 mining disaster in Soma that claimed the lives of 301 workers, the worst industrial accident in Turkey's history.