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Families' agony as hopes fade for trapped miners in Turkey

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Families' agony as hopes fade for trapped miners in Turkey

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They are sons, husbands, fathers – victims of a tragedy that has plunged Turkey into three days of national mourning and devastated entire families.

For some relatives, the agonising wait continues. Others have learned the worst.

Medical teams are helping the living.

For the dead, a cold storage warehouse and freezer trucks are serving as makeshift morgues, with hospital facilities overwhelmed.

As hopes fade of finding survivors, our reporter in Soma, Bora Bayraktar, spoke to one of those who has been searching underground.

The rescue worker, Melih Guvendik, told us: “There are still some places we could not reach in the mine. With the fire continuing and carbon monoxide intensifying, sometimes we need to pull the rescue teams back. Evacuation work is going on but after that the time to find people alive will have passed.”

He said they could not always get to the trapped miners: “Behind doors in the shafts, we could see groups of people. But the rescue work requires huge physical effort and full face masks need to be worn.”

As the desperate search and anxious wait continues, teams of psychiatrists have been called in to counsel victims’ families, plunged into the deepest distress.


  • Turkey: Mine disaster

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