Parents reveal that young victim of Soma disaster was 19, not 15

Photo: Parents reveal that young victim of Soma disaster was 19, not 15 / Turkey

The parents of Cemal Yildiz, one of the victims of the deadly mine accident in Soma who was reported to be 15 years old, have said their son was 19 years old but "looked young."

Reports that a child miner was working in the mine drew huge controversy, with both the energy minister and the labor minister denying such a possibility.

The family, who was preparing to bury their son, showed private broadcaster Kanal D their son's identification card. They also said the uncle who initially told reporters that Yildiz was 15 years old was mistaken because their son looked physically very young.

Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told Hurriyet that employing a 15-year-old in mines was "impossible," adding that he would resign if this was proven correct.

For his part, Labor Minister Faruk Celik said his ministry would launch an investigation over the claims, adding that records at the mining company would be inspected.

The death toll as a result of the mine collapse in Turkey's Manisa province on May 13, has increased to 282 people, Turkish TRT TV channel quoted Taner Yildiz, the country's Minister of Energy and Natural Resources as saying on May 15.

He pointed out that the rescue operations are underway.

In total, there are 740 coal mines and 48,706 miners in Turkey.

Over 3,000 people have been killed and over 100,000 have received various injuries since 1941 to the present day in the mine accidents in Turkey.

Some 10.4 percent of the total number of the work accidents occurs at mines in Turkey.

In the first four months of 2014, some 1,235 people were killed as a result of the work accidents in Turkey, 103 of them were female.

The worst mine accident in Turkey's history occurred in the province of Zonguldak in 1992, killing 263 workers.

_PHOTO - Anadolu

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