St Helens sends 'deepest sympathy' to people of pit disaster town of Soma, Turkey

The book of condolence is in the main reception area of St Helens Town Hall

The book of condolence is in the main reception area of St Helens Town Hall

First published in News

ST HELENS Council has opened a book of condolence in memory of the 282 miners who lost their lives in the Soma tragedy in Turkey.

The local authority says that as the death toll still rises in the mining town it is showing empathy for Soma, which has been devastated by the event.

St Helens has suffered its fair share of mining tragedy in the past, including a horror explosion which ripped through Haydock’s Wood Pit coal mine in 1878, killing nearly 200 men and boys - some as young as 12.

The disaster in Turkey this week saw an explosion that caused the pit to collapse, while 787 miners were underground.

Turkey officials said 363 miners were rescued in the hours after the explosion.

Eight more bodies had been recovered overnight into Thursday, taking the toll to 282. Around 150 miners remain missing.

Rescue operations had to be halted for several hours as high gas concentrations underground needed to be cleared. A fire in the mine was still hampering recovery efforts.

In a statement the council said: “St Helens Council sends its deepest sympathy to the people of Soma.

“The book of condolence is in the main reception area of the Town Hall, Victoria Square, St Helens.”

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