Seven miners killed, one missing in coal mine collapse in Turkey

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Seven miners were killed and another was missing after part of a coal mine in Turkey’s southeastern province of Sirnak collapsed on Tuesday, government spokesman Bekir Bozdag said.

Search and rescue teams were looking for the missing worker who was trapped at the site.

Turkey’s energy ministry said the coal mine was unlicensed and had been operating illegally.

“The activities of the mining field in Sirnak where the accident took place were stopped by the General Directorate of Mining Affairs in 2013 because it carried operational and security risks,” the energy ministry said.

Workplace accidents are not unusual in Turkey. Its rapid growth over the past decade has seen a construction boom and a scramble to meet soaring energy and commodities demand, with worker safety standards often failing to keep pace.

Its worst ever mining disaster took place in May 2014 in the western town of Soma, where 301 workers were killed.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu, Ali Kucukgocmen, Orhan Coskun and Gulsen Solaker; Editing by Dominic Evans