Coming up

Don't miss




Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more


Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more


2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more


Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more


The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more


The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more


Politics: parties under pressure

Read more


In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • Israeli navy attacks Hamas base as tanks line up along Gaza border

    Read more

  • French court lifts mayor’s ban on Muslim hijab at beach

    Read more

  • Shells land in Russia as eastern Ukrainians flee fighting

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • Holland beat hosts Brazil 3-0 to finish third in World Cup

    Read more

  • Germany vs Argentina - history and genius clash in World Cup final

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament fails to agree on new leadership

    Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

    Read more

  • France’s Kadri wins eighth stage at Tour de France

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces ‘executed prisoners in reprisal’ for ISIS killings

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more


Mine explosion kills 19 workers


Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-11

An explosion has caused a coal mine to collapse in northwestern Turkey, killing 19 workers. The blast came after the workers set off dynamite late Thursday.

AFP - An explosion ripped through a coal mine in northwestern Turkey, causing a cave-in and killing 19 workers, officials said Friday.

"I have to give you the bad news. Rescue teams have reached the accident area. Unfortunately, all the workers are dead," Labour Minister Omer Dincer said in televised remarks.

The workers were trapped at a depth of 220 to 250 metres (726 to 825 feet) late Thursday in the mine near the town of Mustafakemalpasa in the province of Bursa when the explosion caused a gallery to collapse.

Bursa governor Sahabetting Harput said the cave-in came after the workers set off some dynamite, but Dincer said the cause of the explosion was not yet clear and experts would be called in to investigate.

"It was not a very powerful explosion, but the entire gallery, the fortifications totally collapsed," he said.

Additional rescue teams were sent in from five nearby provinces, but the rescuers could not immediately enter the mine due to high concentrations of methane. They had to wait for hours as air was pumped into the mine to dissolve the gas.

Dincer said the bodies of only two workers had been removed so far and that conditions in the collapsed gallery hampered rescue efforts.

"The rescuers are running into difficulty because the accident area is very narrow and has suffered major damage. It is not a place where a lot of people can work together at once," the minister said.

"We have decided that the rescue teams will work with great care and proceed only after building the necessary fortifications. I believe they will complete their work in the evening," he added.

Television footage showed grieving relatives waiting outside the mine behind a line of soldiers called in to provide security.

A miner who took part in the rescue efforts, Hamza Baskurt, told the NTV news channel that he had spotted seven bodies when he went down with a friend to look for survivors.

"We saw them in a shaft to the right of the cave-in. They were lying down one or two meters apart.... You can see the effects of the explosion on their hands, faces and clothes. They were burned," he said.

"Conditions are dangerous down there. It will be very difficult to remove the bodies," Baskurt added.

Dincer explained that the mine had been subject to frequent inspections, the last of them taking place in May.

Inspectors found a number of flaws and gave the management until December to correct them, he said, but gave no details as to what the flaws in question were.

"Experts will decide whether the management did the required work, but our general view is that the mine was run by an experienced team that had been in business since 1983 and which abided by general work rules, the minister said.

Explosions and cave-ins are not uncommon in Turkey, particularly in privately run mines where respect for safety regulations is often minimal.

Date created : 2009-12-11


    Accidental blast in Peshawar causes casualties

    Read more


    Restaurant blaze sparked by fireworks kills at least 100, scores wounded

    Read more