News / Europe

    Turkey Ends Search with 301 Miners Dead

    Relatives gather at the grave of a loved one killed in the mine explosion in Soma, Turkey, May 17, 2014.
    Relatives gather at the grave of a loved one killed in the mine explosion in Soma, Turkey, May 17, 2014.
    VOA News
    Rescuers in Turkey have begun wrapping up search operations at the site of the country's worst-ever coal mine disaster.

    On Saturday, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said rescue workers found the bodies of two more miners, raising the death toll to 301. He said they are believed to be the last remaining victims at the Soma Holding Co. mine in western Turkey.

    Yildiz said 485 miners either had escaped or were rescued.
     
    Deadly Mining Accidents in Turkey
     
    • March 7, 1983: 103 killed in Armutçuk, Zonguldak
    • April 10, 1983: 10 killed in Kozlu, Zonguldak
    • January 31, 1987: 8 killed in Kozlu, Zonguldak
    • January 31, 1990: 5 killed in Amasrada
    • February 7, 1990: 68 killed in Amasya
    • March 3, 1992: 263 killed in Kozlu, Zonguldak
    • March 26, 1995: 37 killed in Antalya
    • November 22, 2003: 10 killed in Karaman
    • September 8, 2004: 19 killed in Kastamonu
    • June 2, 2006: 17 killed in Balikesir
    • December 10, 2009: 19 killed in Bursa
    • May 17, 2010: 30 killed in Zonguldak
    • January 8, 2013: 8 killed in Kozlu, Zonguldak
    • May 13, 2014: More than 280 killed in Soma
    "There are no mine workers in the mine at the moment," the energy minister told reporters at a news conference. "There are no more missing people reported by families."

    Seven families were awaiting bodies undergoing DNA testing, he added.

    Earlier Saturday, a new fire erupted at the mine, hampering recovery efforts. Yildiz said rescue teams would conduct a final search through the mine.

    Turkish officials still are investigating the cause of Tuesday's electrical explosion and fire at the mine. They said most of the workers died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

    The deadly accident has sparked a string of protests. Demonstrators and IndustriALL Global Union, an international organization representing 50 million workers, say Turkey has poor mining safety standards.

    Police in Istanbul used tear gas and water cannons late Friday to disperse people refusing to leave after a peaceful demonstration honoring the miners. What began as a solemn candlelight ceremony spiraled into chaos when several people refusing to leave after the event ended clashed with police.
     
    • A police water cannon is used against anti-government protesters in Soma, Turkey, May 16, 2014.
    • Hundreds of protesters took part in a march against the government. Some protesters chanted slogans near a monument for the town's miners, Soma, May 16, 2014.

       
    • A police water cannon is used against anti-government protesters in Soma, May 16, 2014.
    • Muslims pray in Soma, May 16, 2014.
    • People mourn at the grave of a miner after a burial service, in Soma, May 15, 2014.
    • Miners and members of rescue services wait outside a coal mine in Soma, May 15, 2014.
    • People prepare graves for the coal mine disaster victims in Soma, May 15, 2014.
    • Members of the rescue team sit outside the coal mine in Soma, May 15, 2014.
    • Relatives of the miners wait near the coal mine where disaster struck, Soma, May 15, 2014.
    • A young man waits outside the coal mine in Soma, May 15, 2014.
    • A protester is kicked by Yusuf Yerkel, advisor to Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, as Special Forces police officers detain him during a protest against Mr. Erdogan's visit to Soma, May 14, 2014.

    You May Like

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Donald Fraser Miles from: Elliot Lake, Canada
    May 17, 2014 8:55 AM
    This disaster happened in Turkey, a sovereign country. However, it expresses a problem of common interest and concern to many nations involved in mining. I live in an area of Canada which has a history of significant mining and some active projects and operations. If safety can be improved in the operation of a mine, it is a moral and legal obligation to achieve high safety standards. Safety is as important as efficiency.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.