Turkish mine blast that killed 13 investigated

Turkish mine blast that killed 13 investigated
# 24 February 2010 17:36 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. An investigation began on Wednesday into the causes of a coal mine blast in northwest Turkey which killed 13 workers and left several others badly burned, state-run news agency Anatolian reported, APA reports quoting Reuters.
The death toll from the mine explosion in Dursunbey in Balikesir province late on Tuesday originally had been reported as 17 but was reduced overnight.
Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, who visited the site, ruled out neglect as a cause of the explosion and said the privately-owned mine had been checked regularly.
"The government has sent many experts to the region to investigate," he said.
High levels of carbon-dioxide and heat after the explosion would prevent investigators from entering the mine for three or four days, he added.
The explosion comes two months after 19 workers died when a coal mine near the city of Bursa collapsed after a dynamite explosion. Dursunbey is also the site of a 2006 mining disaster which killed 17.
Mining accidents are common in Turkey. The worst disaster, at Zonguldak on the Black Sea in 1992, killed 263 workers. The Chairman of the Turkish Mine Engineers Association Mehmet Torun told Anatolian the blast was caused by an accumulation of methane gas. He added that his association had warned that the Dursunbey mine was a high risk site.
Local prosecutors also have sent investigators to the site, Anatolian reported.
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