One killed in mine collapse in northern Turkey

One killed in mine collapse in northern Turkey

ZONGULDAK – Doğan News Agency
One killed in mine collapse in northern Turkey

AA Photo

A coal mine collapse in the Black Sea province of Zonguldak on March 10 has killed one miner and left two injured.

The accident took place 550 meters below ground level in a mine in Zonguldak’s Ereğli district, operated by the state Turkish Coal Institute’s (TKK) Armutçuk branch, after piles of coal collapsed during mining activities at about 4:00 a.m. on March 10.

Nevzat Candan, 38, Yaşar Özdemir, 45, and Hüseyin Demirdöver, 35, were trapped in the wreckage of the collapse. Following a rescue effort with the help of other colleagues, Özdemir and Demirdöver were pulled from the wreckage and taken to a nearby hospital. They remain in stable condition.

However, Candan was killed and his body was discovered about two hours after the land slide.

The head of the Genel Maden İşçileri trade union’s Armutçuk branch, İsa Mutlu, said the collapse took place during coal production activities.

Hasan Candan, the father of Nevzat Candan, said he had worked in the same mine for more than 18 years and did not know how the accident took place, though he knew the mine very well. 

“I know the underground very well but I do not know how it happened,” said Candan, adding that his son had just celebrated his birthday with his wife and children before the accident.

Labor Minister Faruk Çelik has commented on the latest accident, saying the collapse was “most probably due to simple negligence” and adding that the coal mine was inspected in June and November 2014 and given a fine of 43,000 liras.

“The collapse most likely took place due to simple negligence, as an insufficiency that would require stopping activities at the mine was not found,” Çelik said on March 10 in Ankara.

He said the accident had taken place “despite all the inspections and penalties given to mines.”

“We live in a country where three workers lose their lives every day on average. Who should be sensitive about these incidents? The ministry, the employers, and the workers,” said Çelik.