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May 15, 2014

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Turkish unions strike following mine explosion

Trade unions in Turkey have announced a one-day strike following the mine explosion in Soma, which has so far claimed over 280 lives.
The explosion, which happened on Tuesday (13 May), caused the pit to collapse while over 700 miners were underground.
Government officials said 363 miners were rescued in the hours after the explosion, but no survivors have been brought out since dawn on Wednesday. About 150 miners are still missing.
Rescue operations had to be halted for several hours as high gas concentrations underground need to be cleared, and energy minister Taner Yildiz said a fire in the mine was hampering recovery efforts.
Union officials said the recent privatisation of the mining sector had made working conditions more dangerous.
The head of the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions of Turkey said that several major groups of unions had agreed to the strike.
However, Reuters news agency quoted the Labour Ministry in Turkey as saying its officials carried out regular inspections at the mine, most recently in March.
The pit explosion was triggered by an electrical fault soon after midday on Tuesday. There were 787 workers in the mine, many of whom died of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

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Bob Wallace
Bob Wallace
9 years ago

Whilst trying not to jump to conclusions about this incident, the standards of UG mining safety outside of the first world economies is shockingly poor. As a safety manager working with an Australian mining company, where the employees expect, but rarely encounter the same standards as in Australia; it is difficult. At least we insist they carry self-rescuers and have fresh air refuges within 500m, which for some clients is seen as un-necessary. It’s a sad fact, that the larger the mining company and as long as they’re from the first world (except South Africa); the higher the standards expected.While… Read more »