As an electrical fault triggered an eruption in a coal mine in western Turkey, the toll of those dead reaches 201, with an additional 80 injured. Families waited in anticipation to hear news of their loved ones, however with the extent of the explosion hopes for survivors have been shattered.
Of the 787 workers that were inside the mine at the time, only 360 have been accounted for thus far. Taner Yildiz, the Energy Minister, stated that many have died due to carbon monoxide poisoning – the toxic gas produced by the combustion of organic matter under conditions of restricted oxygen supply.
In an attempt to save those who survived the explosion but were trapped inside, oxygen was pumped into the mine as the miners had approximately only 50 minutes of air. The remaining 427 people are yet to be found, however the closing time frame predetermines the probable outcome.
Reports have stated that the explosion was caused by a short circuit ( an electrical circuit that allows a current to travel along an unintended path, often with no electrical impedance). As a result of the explosion, the mine collapsed and trapped workers inside. The electrical fault also triggered a power cut, making the mine cages unstable and trapping other survivors 2km below the surface and 4km from the mine entrance.
An investigation is now underway to find out what or who is responsible for such a huge tragedy. Mine owner Soma Komur Isletmeleri said that the mine operates with the “highest safety measures and constant controls”. However, if this were the case, how would such an explosion taking so many lives have happened?
Analysts have stated that Turkey’s coal mines are actually of a much lower standard to the majority of industrial nations. Therefore, does the fault actually lay in someone else’s hands to that of a natural accident?
Melissa from MLS says “with the death toll reaching 200 and hundreds of people remaining to be accounted for, this coal mining disaster may actually exceed Turkey’s worst mining disaster reported in 1992 where 270 miners died. With such a high number of injuries and deaths, it is almost certain that those affected will be looking for someone to blame.”