Turkey's Energy Minister: A total of 301 miners died in Soma mining disaster

The death toll from Turkey's coal mine disaster rose to 301, with another 485 miners rescued, said energy minister Taner Yildiz.

Turkey's Energy Minister: A total of 301 miners died in Soma mining disaster

World Bulletin/News Desk

Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said that investigation to find real cause of the mining disaster in Soma will include technical and administrative probes. He also said that a total of 301 miners died and 485 miners rescued in Soma mining disaster.

Earlier Yildiz had said that a fire in the mine that was hampering rescue efforts had been largely extinguished enabling rescue teams in their efforts.

"It is a localised fire, but it is important and we have to take note of it," Yildiz said. "Naturally until it is brought under control we can't do anything about up to three workers (believed still there)."

As the fire started, rescue teams were seen leaving the mine in the western town of Soma while fire-fighting teams went in.

Meanwhile Huseyin Celik, Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party Deputy Chairman and spokesperson, has promised a full-scale investigation into Tuesday’s coal mine disaster. 

"Those responsible for the accident will be held accountable,” Celik said.

The coal mine managers have denied claims of negligence during a press conference on Friday stating that the cause of the fire is still unknown and insisting they took all necessary measures to prevent the incident.

"There was no negligence,” operating manager, Akin Celik, said, “the focus so far has been on rescuing the workers, we haven't found out yet how the fire started."

Turkey’s top judicial body has appointed 28 prosecutors to coordinate investigations over the mining disaster and they have started collecting testimonies, according to the prosecutor’s office.

The views of an occupational safety expert committee, composed of electrical engineers and experts in mining, will also be included in the investigation.

Tuesday’s mine accident in Soma is the deadliest in Turkey’s history surpassing an explosion of firedamp, a flammable gas found in coalmines, that killed 263 miners in Zonguldak in 1992.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Mayıs 2014, 17:54