Turkey: Moment gold mine collapses leaving nine people trapped under the rubble | World | News

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Turkey: Moment gold mine collapses leaving nine people trapped under the rubble | World | News

At least nine workers have remained trapped in a gold mine after a massive landslide hit the area, authorities have confirmed.

Disaster struck at the Copler mine – located near the town of Ilic, in Turkey – shortly before 11.30am GMT (2.30pm local time).

Footage circulating online seemingly shot by a worker standing a few kilometres away from the area of the incident showed a huge torrent of soil swallowing everything in its path as it fell down a ravine.

Around 400 search and rescue staff members, including workers from neighbouring provinces brought in to assist, rushed to the site in the eastern province of Erzincan to find the trapped workers.

Turkey’s Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said nobody has heard from the missing workers after the landslide. He added: « It is thought that they are buried under the ground. » 

The mayor of Erzincan, Bekir Aksun, had previously told broadcaster Haberturk the number of missing people was between 10 and 12.

Also speaking to the broadcaster, Geologist Suleyman Pampal warned the soil that formed the landslide may contain dangerous substances used after it had been processed for gold, making the situation for both the missing workers and the rescue team even more delicate. 

The expert also urged officials to do all they can to stop the landslide from reaching the nearby Euphrates River, as mixing the potentially contaminated soil with those waters would mean « the end of all life ». He added: « It must be prevented urgently from reaching the Euphrates. » 

In 2022, an accident at the same mine, which distances some 370 miles from Ankara, saw around 20 tonnes of a solution containing cyanide being spilt, raising fears for the contamination of the nearby river.

The company operating at the mine, Anagold Mining, has been working at Copler since 2009, and currently employs 667 people.

The company said its priority remained « the health and safety of our employees and contractors ». 

The message described the incident as a « painful situation », before adding: « Immediately after the incident, we immediately contacted our employees in the region, put our emergency plan into action and informed the relevant public institutions and organizations. »

An investigation into the disaster has already been launched, Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc said.

He added: « I wish our citizens from Erzincan recover soon and hope that our miner brothers who are trapped under the rubble will be rescued safely. » 

Cet article est apparu en premier sur https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1866331/turkey-gold-mine-collapses-copler-workers-missing


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