View Full Version : Turkish mining disaster

14th May 2014, 08:10
More than two hundred dead so far and over a hundred still trapped or unaccounted for.

A horrendous tragedy for the victims and families of those involved, but you have to wonder about the safety culture when this was said of the Zonguldak disaster in 2010 that killed 30 miners.

"Prime Minister Erdogan, visiting the site after the accident, declared that the "people of this region are used to incidents like this", which are "the fate [Turkish: kader] of this profession", while calling protests against the unsafe working conditions in the state mines a "provocation".

Turkey is campaigning to be a member of the EU.

tony draper
14th May 2014, 08:45
Something confused me,they stated there were fires burning below and they were pumping oxygen down the mine?I think they were just getting mixed up in translation,surely they meant just air being pumped down.
Worst job in the world,but like here in times past many thousands of men were glad to have those jobs.

14th May 2014, 08:58
I was a bit shocked at the numbers.

Hope it all turns out OK for the 100 but I am afraid I don't hold out
much hope with fires below.

Worrals in the wilds
14th May 2014, 09:07
That's terrible :sad:.
"Prime Minister Erdogan, visiting the site after the accident, declared that the "people of this region are used to incidents like this", which are "the fate [Turkish: kader] of this profession",
What a wussy, political response. It shouldn't be the fate of the profession if there are proper safety measures in place. If the PM is happy to shrug his shoulders and basically say ':mad: happens' then I guess his government won't be pushing for any improvements.

14th May 2014, 09:09
H&S obviously isn't at the top of the Agenda !

Not that I am a great fan of over bearing H&S but mines,
different kettle of fish.

14th May 2014, 09:35
I was a bit shocked at the numbers.

Unfortunately there was a shift changeover happening at the time which may have doubled the numbers affected.

Metro man
14th May 2014, 10:29
Not a very good year so far is it ?

Korean ferry
Turkish mine

I dread to think what's next.

14th May 2014, 10:57
Mining is a dangerous profession - I come from a mining area area in Scotland and remember the numbers of children in the little village school who had lost fathers. Both my grand fathers were miners and I have never forgotten my one and only trip down a mine - could never fathom how people could spend a lifetime working in such an environment.The miners died young from lung disease caused by dust - few had any kind of life after retirement. The mining communities were like no other - a great sense of solidarity and the ability to cope with anything,they do not make them like that any more. I am thankful that there are no coal mines left in Scotland.

14th May 2014, 11:31
We enforce safety regulations in the developed world, then allow free trade with countries where they don't, and put our own workers out of business as they can't compete.
And it's often the same global company owning the workplaces in both countries.

:ugh: , times about a million

400 dead construction workers already in Qatar working on the World Cup 2022 stadia. And they are often those nice Nepalese guys (though that shouldn't make a difference). Remember that next month, and do something about it!

14th May 2014, 11:37
Fox 3


I did notice that the world cup in Mexico is on the news with deaths as well.

Worrals in the wilds
14th May 2014, 11:38
We enforce safety regulations in the developed world, then allow free trade with countries where they don't, and put our own workers out of business as they can't compete.Yep :sad:. Same goes for manufacturing, but consumers do love their imported 5 dollar Tshirts. :ugh:

I am thankful that there are no coal mines left in Scotland. We've got plenty of them and they're still dangerous, but most of the time the risks can be mitigated. However, that costs money and time, and the big companies only comply when they're forced to. That's why safety regs have to come from the government, because if it were left to the mining companies they'd still be employing 12 year olds and pit ponies.

I've heard talk to the effect that within the next decade or so our underground coal mining will be almost completely unmanned; the trucks and diggers will be controlled from the surface. Probably not a bad thing, either.

14th May 2014, 12:50
For comparison:

Beijing 2008 - 8 deaths
London 2012 - 0 deaths (:D:D)
Brazil 2014 - 8 deaths

Qatar 2022 - 400+ deaths so far, estimated at 4,000 by completion if nothing is done internationally.

reminds me of that Not The Nine O'Clock News sketch that went something like
" Two people severely injured in a car crash on the M1. 4 people killed in a train accident in France. A plane has crashed in Greece - the dead, in order of importance, were: 2 Americans, 3 Germans and a bunch of Arabs"

Anyone who still thinks the mainstream media reports the news objectively is an idiot.

14th May 2014, 14:06
Remember Woody Guthrie's "Deportee"...

14th May 2014, 15:41
On hols in Turkey at the moment, one has to wonder about their attitude, not just to elf'n safety, but their "it won't happen to me" philosophy. We just observed how difficult it is to get a 2m wide trailer though a 1.8m gap. No harm in trying I spose.
Wonder what conditions were like underground (before the accident)?

14th May 2014, 16:56
I am currently reading Ken Follett's 'Fall of Giants', where one of the opening scenes is a mining accident in Wales around 1910. Rules ignored by management, dangerous practices, inadequate safety gear - sounds pretty similar.

14th May 2014, 17:29
We enforce safety regulations in the developed world


Coal mine where two workers died was cited by feds (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/13/coal-mine-violations/9039491/)

A federal inspection at Brody last fall found 253 "significant and substantial" violations and a list of MSHA citations

This isn't even a one off event, there have been a number of serious mining accidents in the USA in the last few years.

14th May 2014, 17:48
OK, fair cop. Lac Megantic isn't looking good either.

We usually enforce....etc

but some industries aren't good.

14th May 2014, 17:55
I seem to remember quite a few stories a couple of years ago
where the US Gov't agency cracking down on unsafe practices
in US mines - a whole spate of them, one after the other.

14th May 2014, 18:06
Does one blame the Government for lax enforcement? by which I mean "not imprisoning the whole management board for 30 years to life", which would fix the compliance problem overnight.
Or does one imprison the Minister? Look at how rules are rewritten and exceptions granted so that, when disaster happens, the company sometimes hasn't even broken the law.
Or should we lock ourselves up, for buying deeply unethical goods without asking questions?

The problem with democracies is that we usually get the Government we deserve.

14th May 2014, 18:36
sitigeltfel wrote: Turkey is campaigning to be a member of the EU.

You betray your ulterior motives mon vieux. Whatever your real sympathies for the Turkish people, "better luck next time"...?! How could you like the Turks when you obviously so hate that illegal Turkish immigrants almost always prefer the UK, instead of remaining this side of la manche?! :}

PS. Since when did JB become the preferred forum for all of Europe's and North America's most extreme right-wingers?! :ok::p:uhoh:

14th May 2014, 18:43
Since when did JB become the preferred forum for all of Europe's and North America's most extreme right-wingers?!

Haven't noted any extreme right-wingers, but I'll keep an eye out for them. Thanks for the heads up.

14th May 2014, 21:42
I worked in Coal Mining for 14 years, including 7 years in underground operations. Although you might not think it, there are many similarities between what miners do and what we do. The environment in which you work in is trying to kill you and you need to rely on well thought through processes, your instinct and your colleagues to survive. Even better is to do it for a company that has a strong safety culture.

RIP to my deceased colleagues and heartfelt condolences to their loved ones.

15th May 2014, 14:42
Remember Woody Guthrie's "Deportee"... Indeed, it was a fine case of agitprop spewed out by an ignorant New York city dweller.

Guthrie homed in on none of the deportees' names being printed in the January 29, 1948 New York Times report while the names of the flight crew and the security guard were. The local paper, The Fresno Bee, covered the tragedy extensively and listed all of the known names of the deportees. For all of his props as a folk singer, Guthrie's ignorance fueled some of his success. For example, he seems to have known about the square root of fook all about the formal agreements between US and Mexico called the Bracero Program.

It is of interest that his criticism of the "pay farmers to destroy crops" program was shared by liberals and conservatives alike, at the time. Not a completely tin ear, but not as wise as legend holds him. See also Bob Dylan's being taken in by Ruben Carter's folk lore, and his effusive apologia for Joey Gallo mafia boss.

What's this to do with the Turkish Mining disaster? Both the government in Turkey, and its opposition, will use this disaster to tell their own story, to project their own narrative, to exploit this tragedy for their own ends.

Sad but true, it's what people do. :mad:

(Deportee as performed by The Highwaymen, with Johnny Rodriguez, onthe 1985 album is a heartachingly beautiful cover. If you have not had a chance to listen to it, it is probably up on youtube somewhere. It's my favorite cut on that album.)

I think there have been mine disasters in West VA within the past five years, and the usual public outcry (justified IMO) about how safe practices are known but not as well adhered to as they ought to be. :mad:

15th May 2014, 14:45
Listening to the radio today re the disaster, I was stunned by the numbers
but also the description of what went on. Would not have been very nice at all.

15th May 2014, 15:04
In 1992 they only managed to kill 263 so they are getting better :} And, they are EU!!!

15th May 2014, 15:13
Did I hear correctly on the radio that many of these were kids ?

15th May 2014, 15:20
Coal mine collapse in West Virginia kills two miners - Business Insider (http://www.businessinsider.com/r-coal-mine-collapse-in-west-virginia-kills-two-miners-2014-13)

A friend of mine used to teach school in Beckley, West Virginia, where yesterday's accident killed two. It appears that five have died in the mines this year, twenty last year.

Mine Safety data for the Brody mine shows that the rate of days lost because of accidents there has been above the national average since 2006. (http://www.msha.gov/drs/ASP/MineAction.asp) The two deaths raised the number of U.S. coal mining fatalities this year to five, and there were 20 in 2013, according to Mine Safety data. West Virginia is one of the biggest U.S. producers of coal and leads states in coal-mining deaths, Mine Safety numbers show. Before Monday's accident, the state recorded 124 deaths since 2003, about 39 percent of the U.S. total.
It's a dangerous business.

Bad timing, to be sure, that it happened in Turkey during shift change. :(

RIP, guys. What you do helps keep the lights on.

16th May 2014, 01:58
I see one of Erdogan's young advisers gave one of the protestors a good kicking whilst he/she was held down by the police. Apparently he will give an explanation at some stage ... brave guy. Why hasn't he been arrrested?

17th May 2014, 09:35
This has generally fallen out of the media. Is there a 'news blackout'?

tony draper
17th May 2014, 09:55
I've noticed of late when a disaster or accident occurs specially in the early stages involving loss of life, or even just delay ie airports railway journeys ect what those involved on the sidelines or effected by it complain about mainly is lack of information,the first instinct of anyone official seems to be to clam up tight or indeed it may not be instinct, it may well be orders from above.
Could it be a side effect of modern society drowned as it in 24/7 rolling news expect instant information as a right.

SMT Member
17th May 2014, 11:40
Why hasn't he been arrrested?

A) Because he's an insider of the ruling party
B) Because he said, on record, that the protestor had 'insulted' him and the President, and in that part of the world it's generally accepted that an insult will be met with physical violence. If anybody's being arrested and charged, it's likely to be the protestor.

17th May 2014, 20:42
To sitigeltfel and BenThere who wrote: Haven't noted any extreme right-wingers, but I'll keep an eye out for them. Thanks for the heads up.
I'll be keeping my "head-up" for your future posts too.

PS. Exascot wrote:...And, they are EU!!! .

Turkey is not currently an EU member. Turkey may well be part of Europe, but they probably "smell" too much or at least have too many citizens who are also Muslims, for this country to ever be admitted to the EU someday, or even considered as part of Europe generally.

Sorry for your own ignorance.

17th May 2014, 23:25
Turkey is not currently an EU member.

Funny enough, one of the things that some miners in eastern Ukraine where worried about was if they become part of the EU then some of their mines might close as the safety requirements where stricter. Hence they didn't want to go in that direction for fear of it costing jobs.

One wonders if the same debate was had in Turkey.