Turkey Tragedy Points to Enduring Coal Mining Risks
Despite lessons learned from previous blasts, accidents persist.
Violent clashes between rioters and police in the capital city of Ankara signaled that some were using the mining deaths to revive long-held grievances against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Other critics claimed that Tuesday's deadly blast symbolized how more aggressive drilling for coal—encouraged by Erdogan's government—had made mining more perilous for workers.
In particular, the deaths at the mine in Soma, a town about 300 miles (483 kilometers) southwest of Istanbul, raise questions about whether Turkey's government and its mining companies have done enough to limit extremely flammable methane gas and coal dust at a time when the nation is boosting its commitment to coal. (See: "Powering Our Urban Future: Spotlight on Turkey.")
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