(AA) – The priority at the mine accident area, 400 km south of capital Ankara, is no longer to reduce the water level but to fortify the mine for the rescue workers’ safety, Turkey’s Energy Minister said on Friday.
The water inside a collapsed coal mine in central Turkey has begun to decrease after teams deployed a second pump to flush out water in a race to rescue at least 18 miners who remain trapped inside.
Turkey’s Energy Minister Taner Yildiz along with the Minister of Labor and Social Security Faruk Celik and the Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Lutfi Elvan made the announcement at the accident site in the town of Ermenek in the Karaman province.
“The water level is less than 800 meters so we need to be more sensitive from now on. There is a possibility for a gas discharge after 780 meters and it is important for our rescue team’s safety,” he said.
Yildiz stressed that there are still mine workers under water and if the drainage continues up to tonight, the fate of those trapped will soon be discovered.
Also, Elvan said that progress today has been faster than Thursday and no problems have occurred with cleaning the accident area.
Celik stated that the ongoing rescue mission has been a work of collaboration with all people around Ermenek and noted that all the mine workers are covered under insurance.