SOMA

SOMA
00:06:08

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Koray Çolak was 26 years old when he died in a coal-mine accident. Exact date of Çolak’s death is unknown.He was one of the miners whose death was caused by an explosion at a coal mine in Soma, Manisa-Turkey, on May 13, 2014. The explosion caused an underground mine fire, which burned until 15 May. Rescue crews arrived at the mine soon after the explosion, and provided fresh air to the mine in an effort to keep those miners who are still trapped underground. However, thick smoke initially hindered progress in the operations to rescue more workers from the mine. In total, 301 people were killed in what was the worst mine disaster in Turkey's history. The mine, which is operated by coal producer Soma Kömür İşletmeleri Company, suffered an explosion, the cause of which is still under investigation. The explosion occurred at the mine's shift change, and 787 workers were underground at the time of the explosion. After the final bodies were pulled from the mine on May 17, 2014, four days after the fire, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yıldız confirmed the number of causalities as 301. Mining accidents are common in Turkey, which has poor mine-safety conditions and subsidizing the mining companies is a government policy. The government guarantees the companies to buy all their coal production. According to a report issued in 2010 by the Turkish Economy Policies Reseach Foundation (TEPAV), in 2008, number of deaths per 1 million tons of coal mined were 7.22 in Turkey -the highest figure in the world-, 5 times the rate in China (1.27) and 361 times the rate in the US (0.02). In Turkey, 78 miners were killed in accidents in 2012, and 95 died in 2013. Prior to the Soma disaster, the deadliest accident in recent Turkish mining history was an explosion which 263 people in 1992. Official statistics record that more than 3,000 coal miners died in mining accidents from 1941 to April 2014. Koray Çolak was one of the workers tragically killed by a fire that claimed the lives of 301 miners on 14th of May, 2014 in Soma, TurkeyProduction: Agence Le JournalDirected by Emin Özmen & Barış KocaFilmed by Emin Özmen & Yücel ZorluEdit and Sound by Barış Koca & Mete ÇarkcıSubtitled by Zack Marlow-McCarthy