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Turkey Coal Mine Explosion - At Least 205 Killed, Hundreds More Still Trapped

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    An horrific scene is taking place right now at a coal mine in Western Turkey, where it is being reported that an explosion and fire is responsible for killing at least 205 miners and leaving more than 200 others trapped underground. This is one of the worst mining accidents in Turkish history, and could end up being the worst in all of mining history. The explosion is thought to have been started after an electrical malfunction caused a fire in a power distribution unit.

    This accident happened on Tuesday. By Wednesday, roughly 360 workers had been brought to safety by hundreds of rescuers, including some miners who actually survived the explosion. It's incredible to hear that some actually survived the initial blast, as the depth on the mine reached 1.5 kilometers, and the amount of black smoke caught on camera as the first men emerged from the collapsed exit was astoundingly thick and vicious.

    The total number of miners involved is hard for officials to say, as the explosion happened during a shift change. But it is believed that 787 miners were involved. So far, official fatalities are at 205, 80 injured, 360 rescued and at least 200 more still trapped. Adding those figures together gets you 845.. reports and numbers will fluctuate and change as this story progresses. Exact numbers and figures are less important though than the tragedy that took place, and is still taking place for the miners and their families in Soma, Turkey. Rescuers are "losing hope" that many more, if any at all of the miners still trapped inside can be gotten to in time.

    Here is a live update news article from The Guardian:
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    Thanks sbfriedman for sharing this. I watched some it it on the news yesterday. As my Dad was a miner, any news on mine disasters around the world catch my attention. My heart goes out to the families of those miners who died, and I will be watching and hoping for the rescue of those that remained trapped.
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    Since I made this post, the death toll has reached 274, with about 150 still trapped. There is little hope that any of the remaining trapped will be rescued at this point. They are pumping oxygen down into the mine though, in hopes to prolong the lives of those still trapped. Some miners have organized a 1 day protest over this accident, citing that ever since the mining industry decided to privatize operations in Turkey, the following of safety regulations has been drastically lax.

    Turkey has issued a 3 day mourning period over the mining explosion, that started yesterday. My hope is that, at the very least, the mining industry in general learns from this so that it hopefully never happens again. I understand that accidents are inevitable. But minimizing risks and strictly following safety code of operations is a must.
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    Final update:

    The rescue efforts have been called off as of today. A total of 301 miners lost their lives in the accident, the cause of which is still under investigation. Multiple protests and strikes have broken out in the city Soma and surrounding areas, angered at the way the government handled the situation. Police have had to use brute force, in some cases, to fight the protesters. Dangerous working conditions and terrible safety protocols were the protester's loudest arguments.

    A total of 485 miners either were rescued or escaped from the explosion.
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    Huffington Post, May 13, 2014: Brody Coal Mine Accident In West Virginia Leaves Two Dead At Patriot Coal Site

    Lost in the news was a much smaller scale tragedy at the Brody coal mine in the West Virginia. Two miners were killed in that mine that has been consistently cited for safety violations.

    "Brody Mine No. 1 was one of only three mines last year to earn the label of "pattern violator" that regulators have put greater emphasis on since the 2010 Upper Big Branch explosion killed 29 miners about 10 miles away. It was cited for 253 violations in 2013 and "from April 1, 2013, to March 31 of this year, the mine was cited for 192 safety violations, including 33 for high or reckless disregard for miners' health and safety.the past year."

    I guess these safety violations mean little to the mining companies that just pay a fine and get on with their business. Not even a tragedy like the Upper Big Branch explosion in 2010 seems to make a difference. Miners I suppose are expendable.
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    MONEY trumps all, everyone knows that.