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    Toll exceeds 300 in Turkish mine accident

    May 18, 2014
    The death toll in Turkey’s worst mining accident rose above 300 Saturday as a fire in part of the mine hampered the search and rescue operation.
     
    The toll in Tuesday’s explosion and fire now stood at 301 after more bodies were discovered, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said. A total of 485 miners escaped or were rescued from the mine in the western city of Soma, he said.
     
    Efforts were under way to bring a fire that broke out at the site, 230 kilometres south of Istanbul, under control, he said.
     
    The mine’s operator, Soma Holding, is facing criticism about safety deficiencies at the mine, but anger was also directed at the government for allegedly allowing lax safety standards to persist.
     
    Police used tear gas and water cannon Friday in Soma to disperse hundreds of protesters who were chanting anti-government slogans.
     
    Mining accidents are common in Turkey. Before the Soma explosion, the deadliest occurred at a coal mine in 1992 in Zonguldak, a province on the Black Sea, where about 260 people died.
    Last modified on Sunday, 18 May 2014 09:28

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