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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More