Turkish Coal Institute blames "absent-minded" miners for accidents

Turkish Coal Institute blames "absent-minded" miners for accidents

Turkish Coal Institute blames absent-minded miners for accidents

DHA Photo

Miners facing severe debt problems were the cause of recent mine blasts that left nearly 10 miners dead, the Turkish Coal Institute (TKK) has said, , according to Doğan news agency.

Miners with heavy debts cannot focus properly on their work and thus constitute a safety hazard to themselves and to fellow miners, TKK has said.

The TKK also accused miners experiencing financial issues as having a negative effect on work in general and creating a larger workload for the legal and financial departments of a mine.

Companies will now have the right to fire such miners after allowing them one year to attempt to repay their debts.

"[Miners with debts] affect motivation and productivity," TKK head Mahmut Özçelik said. "There seems to be nothing legal that can be done about it. This is a measure we're taking for the long term. We need such measures to increase production."

Eight miners were killed in a mine blast in Zonguldak on Jan.7.

A total of 2,554 miners were killed and more than 13,000 lost the ability to work between 1991 and 2008. Turkey has the worst safety record in terms of mining accidents and explosions in Europe and the ranks as the third worst country in the world, according to reports.

In Turkey’s worst mining disaster, a gas explosion killed 270 workers near Zonguldak in 1992.