Mine accidents in Turkey claimed 361 lives in 2014

Mine accidents in Turkey claimed 361 lives in 2014

A total of 361 miners were killed in mining accidents last year in Turkey, the country with the highest rate of workplace fatalities in Europe, based on data from the International Labour Organization (ILO).

A report from a leading workers' union mine shows that mine incidents in the country last year also left over 80 people severely injured, mainly as a consequence of landslides, firedamp explosions, blazes and flooding, Today’s Aman reports.

Before the infamous Soma disaster, which claimed the lives of 301 workers, there had been 1,308 fatal accidents in the industry since 2000 and than 3,000 since 1941, a bleak track record for a country where the mining sector is one of the biggest employers.

Coal the deadliest

The report highlights that most deaths are related to the coal sector.

On average, more than seven miners die in Turkey every year because of workplace accidents for every million tonnes of excavated coal, according to a report by the Economic Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV).

This death toll eclipses that of China, where just over one miner is killed per million tonnes, TEPAV says.

The foundation puts the figure for the US even lower, with 0.02 miners killed for every million tonnes of coal excavated.

According to Turkey's Energy Ministry over 100 coal mines have been closed in the last three years as a result of failure to comply with safety standards.

Image from archives.