Türkiye: Coal mine explosion leaves 41 workers dead

Photo: https://www.voanews.com

Türkiye is in a deep state of sorrow following an explosion at a state-owned coal mine in Amasra on 15 October that left 41 mine workers dead and many others seriously injured.

Located in the Black Sea province of Bartin, the coal mine reportedly had a firedamp explosion, trapping 110 workers. Only after the rescue operation was concluded that it was revealed that scores of mine workers have perished in the accident.

Trade unions were shocked over the deaths and have expressed their disappointment on the authorities’ failure to secure the safety of workers despite their constant reminders and lobbying efforts to ensure workplace health and safety in the mining industry. 

In a letter sent to its Turkish trade union affiliates, BWI mourns the workers who were killed in the accident and calls for a comprehensive investigation on the matter to ferret out the truth and exact justice and accountability.

 BWI reaffirmed its commitment to hold more educational activities and advocacy work to ensure healthy and safe workplaces based on its continuing campaign slogan of “life before profit.” 

Türkiye is not new to such an incident. In 2014, a coal mine in Soma was razed by an underground fire that killed 301 workers. The country has a record-high number of work-related fatalities, with more than 2,000 workers getting killed every year in workplace accidents. 

The country is also continuously ranked by the International Trade Union Confederation’s (ITUC) Annual Index among the top 10 worst countries for workers’ rights.