SOMA, Turkey – Senior Turkish officials denied allegations of lax government oversight and a Turkish mining company defended its safety record Friday, four days after at least 284 people died in an underground blaze at a coal mine in western Turkey.
A maximum of 18 miners remain missing and the final death toll will be around 300, the country’s energy minister said. Until now it had been feared that there might be more than 100 victims still in the mine.
The mining company’s owner, Alp Gurkan, said he had spent his own money on improving standards at the mine at Soma in western Turkey.
« I am hurting inside, » he said at a news conference of company officials.
Turkey’s worst mining disaster has set off a raft of protests amid public outrage at allegedly poor safety conditions at Turkish coal…
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