Death toll rises in coal mine explosion. 201 workers are killed according to official reports. Witnesses insist reports are not reflecting the magnitude of the tragedy taking place in Soma.
"Several hundred miners have been killed following an explosion near the town of Soma.
An estimated 700-1000 miners were inside at the time of the explosion. Some of them working near the upper gallery have been saved, while the rest of them are largely presumed dead by now.
The mainstream media reported the total death toll as 17 for several hours, even as the bodies kept coming on gurneys during the live broadcast. The figure was subsequently corrected to 151 after announced as so by a government minister, while the real number is estimated to be much higher.
The coal mine at Soma was inspected at least 10 times in the recent years and closed after 66 faults were found, only to be reopened due to political pressure. Some 5000 accidents occured at Soma in 2013 alone, causing 95 deaths. Main opposition party CHP had submitted a motion to demand a parliamentary investigation regarding the deaths at the mine only two weeks ago.
The miners interviewed on TV say they get paid 40 Liras ($19/€14) for a day’s work and practically have no social security. The miners also say that the conditions have got far worse since the mines have been privatised, any complaint or incapacity costs them their jobs, and the unions are acting in complicity with the bosses..”
Report by LiveUpdatesFrom Turkey
Photo credit: Kamera Sokak (11 photos)