World Bulletin/News Desk
Rescue teams have drained three-fourths of the flooded mine where 18 workers remain trapped since October 28 in central Turkey’s Karaman province, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Sunday.
"Following the drainage, a 350-meter opening was made that is being now used for the search of the miners," Yildiz told reporters.
The mine is located in Karaman’s Ermenek district, which is about 400kms south of the capital, Ankara.
The minister did not give a timeframe about when exactly the rescue teams would reach the miners.
There were 34 miners inside the mine when a water pipe exploded October 28 and caused it to flood. Rescue efforts have been underway round-the-clock since the incident to save the remaining 18 miners.
Yildiz said the teams still had about 25 meters to go before they reached the base of the flooded mine and added water drainage efforts were still ongoing.
The remaining water is around 2,500 tons. "Water is not a primary problem now, instead we see around one-meter slime and mud coverage and weakened fortifications inside the mine," he said.
He also stressed on the importance of safety for the crew carrying out the rescue mission. He instructed the teams to work in ventilated areas to prevent another accident.
Turkey's Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications, Lutfi Elvan, and Minister of Labor and Social Security, Faruk Celik, are in the area to monitor the situation.
Last Mod: 02 Kasım 2014, 16:17