Turkey: Underground Morgue

Underground Morgue

For generations, men along the southern lip of the Black Sea have wagered their lives to dig the riches of coal. At 8 p.m. last Tuesday, 265 miners lost that gamble when a methane explosion bellowed from deep within the Incirharmani mine outside the city of Kozlu, instantly transforming miles of galleries into a subterranean conflagration of toxic gas. Rescuers pulled out 118 bodies before the inferno forced them to seal the passages with cinder blocks, entombing the remaining victims in the still burning mine.

Incirharmani's safety equipment was rendered useless by the speed of the disaster: methane gas built up...

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