18 Miners Trapped as Coal Mine Collapses in Turkey

The miners are trapped underground as water surges towards them

According to a report, a coal mine in southern Turkey collapsed Tuesday, trapping 18 workers underground as water surged near them. This is likely to raise more concerns about the nation’s poor workplace safety standards.

The collapse occurred at the Has Sekerler mine near the town of Ermenek in Karaman province, 500 kilometers (300 miles) south of Ankara, close to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Gov. Murat Koca said about 20 workers had managed to escape or were rescued from the mine.

The miners were trapped after the water that had accumulated inside the mine flooded a gallery where they were working. An official at the privately-owned coal mine told NTV television that the miners were stuck about 300 meters underground.

“At the moment, 18 of our colleagues are trapped. We are working to pump water out from three sections of the mine,” said Sahin Uyar to NTV. Rescue crews have had no contact with the trapped miners.

In May, a fire inside a coal mine in the western town of Soma killed 301 miners in Turkey’s worst mining disaster. The fire exposed poor safety standards and superficial government inspections in many of the country’s mines.

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