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Erdogan says mining accidents 'nature of the business'

While launching an investigation into the mine accident near Soma, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said mine accidents are "ordinary developments."
Rescuers carry a miner who sustained injuries after a mine explosion to an ambulance in Soma, a district in Turkey's western province of Manisa May 14, 2014. Hopes faded of finding more survivors in a coal mine in western Turkey on Wednesday, where 238 workers were confirmed killed and 120 more still feared to be trapped in what is likely to prove the nation's worst ever industrial disaster. REUTERS/Gokhan Gungor/Depo Photos (REUTERS - Tags: DISASTER ENERGY) ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT F

At a coal mine near the town of Soma in Manisa province, 274 miners have reportedly been killed so far and about 120 others are still trapped underground after a fire of unknown origin broke out on May 13. Turkey’s Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said this disaster could potentially become the worst in Turkey’s history, signaling that the number of deaths could possibly pass the 1992 mine gas explosion that killed 263 miners near the Black Sea port of Zonguldak.

Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency reported that 3,000 miners have been killed and more than 100,000 wounded in work accidents since 1941 in Turkey. The Turkish Statistical Institute also shows in its last report that the most common labor accidents occur in mines and quarries. These accidents are mainly linked to poor safety conditions and improper inspection mechanisms.

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