Document Type: Case Study

Authors

Department of Mining Engineering, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey

Abstract

A daunting mine disaster took place in 13 May 2014 at Soma and 301 men lost their lives. Brief information about the Eynez coal mine and some of the inherent characteristics of the field in terms of their effects on mining are presented. This paper basically concentrates on the factors that played an important role in the occurrence of this disaster. Progress of mine fire, firefighting, and rescue activities were only given in basics. Mine fire started suddenly without giving any sign at the hearth of the mine. Sudden occurrence of mine fire and start location properties reveal that the root cause of this disaster was probably not directly related to spontaneous heating of coal. Analysis of roof caving mechanism, subsidence profiles, production history, and overall conditions in the mine showed that the mine fire most probably started as a result of a sudden caving above the nearby sealed out old production panels. Upon caving, pressure of the gas present in uncaved voids and unconsolidated goaf must have increased and gas must have overflown through abundant cracks towards the mine. Gas exuding under moderate pressure might possibly be ignited by a non-ex-proof belt conveyor drive motor starting the mine fire.

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