18 miners remain trapped in an underground flooded gallery in a mine near the village of Pamuklu, Central Anatolia, Turkish daily ‘Hurriyet’ reports.
Even though water levels have fallen in the mine, hopes of rescuing the remaining mine workers are fading.
At around midday yesterday, an underground gallery was flooded trapping 20 miners. Rescue workers and ambulance were sent to the area shortly after the incident took place.
“Over 40 workers were in the mine at the time of the incident, when there was a problem in one gallery. The other workers left the mine but 20 miners were left working in the flooded gallery,” Karaman Gov. Murat Koca told Anadolu Agency.
“This is the third flood at the mine,” a miner who survived told Anadolu Agency, blaming the company. “It wouldn’t happen if necessary precautions were taken.”
Turkey was hit by its worst ever mining accident in May this year in the western city of Soma, where 301 workers died after a fire broke out inside the mine’s galleries.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan then angered many by describing the deaths of miners as part of the “nature of the job” while comparing mining accidents in Turkey by citing similar examples from 19th-century Britain.