Miners rescued after being trapped in Turkish mine

Miners rescued after being trapped in Turkish mine

Miners rescued after being trapped in Turkish mine

AA Photo

Nine workers who were trapped after a cave-in at a private mining facility in the Black Sea province of Zonguldak on Aug. 12 have been rescued.

The workers, identified as Yüksel Günbel, Ayhan Günbel, Cüneyt Karagünlü, Muhammet Kilitçi, Mustafa Pazarbaşı, Murtaza Pazarcık, Taner Tutal, Müslüm Bayraklı and Ferhat Mangır, were taken to the hospital.

The rescue work started around nine hours late, as the engineer in charge did not report the accident to the officials. 

“The accident took place at around 3:00 a.m. but the engineer of the mine did not report it to the authorities. The father of one of the miners trapped inside reported the issue to the police at around 11:40 a.m. and then we learned about the issue. All of the correct measures have been taken,” Zonguldak Governor Ali Kaban told Anadolu Agency, adding an investigation into the engineer been opened.

Eyüp Alabaş, head of Genel Maden İşçileri Sendikası, the sector union, said the slide occurred at the ceiling of the main gallery.

Mine operates illegally

The Labor and Social Security Ministry said the mine was being operated illegally, despite a decision to halt production due to the working conditions and the company running the mine was fined 14,000 Turkish Liras last year. A second 11,000 lira fine was imposed when authorities detected production was continuing in the mine in March.

Teams from the state-run Turkish Coal Institute (TTK) and the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) have been deployed to the scene, as inspectors are continuing to examine the mine following the rescue operation’s completion.

Some 301 miners were killed in a May 13 mine disaster, the largest in the country’s history, in the western town of Soma, highlighting once again the bad working conditions in mines across Turkey.

Zonguldak is the heart of coal mining in Turkey and has witnessed a number of accidents since the Soma disaster.