Mine Operator Says Exact Cause Of Fire Still Unclear
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[May 16, 2014]
By Ece Toksabay
SOMA, Turkey (Reuters) - The operator of a
Turkish mine in which 284 people died this week and 18 remain trapped
said on Friday the exact cause of a fire was still unclear but that a
build-up of heat had caused a partial collapse in the plant.
Rescuers were still trying to reach parts of the coal mine in
Soma, 480 km (300 miles) southwest of Istanbul, three days after a
fire knocked out power and shut down the ventilation shafts and
elevators, trapping hundreds underground in Turkey's worst ever
"It was an unbelievable accident in a place where there have been
very few accidents in 30 years," Soma Holding Chairman Alp Gurkan
told a news conference. "A mine with top level miners, accepted as
being the most trustworthy and organized."
Plant manager Akin Celik rejected suggestions that negligence on the
part of the company had been a factor.
"We still do not know how the accident happened. There is no
negligence of ours in this incident. We all worked heart and soul,"
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The company said a total of 787 workers had been in the mine at the
time, of which 122 had been hospitalized and a further 363
(Reporting by Ece Toksabay, Seda Sezer and Humeyra Pamuk; Writing by
Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Catherine Evans)
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