Mining tragedy

First published in Letters

AS I listened to the tragic news of the Turkish mining disaster, I could not help the tears flowing down my cheeks.

It brought back many memories.

Last year we commemorated the centenary of the 1913 Senghenydd disaster, when 451 men and boys’ lives were snuffed out in an explosion which could have been prevented. I lost a great uncle, and my grandfather called it murder.

I remembered the 1950s explosion in Bedwas, a colliery where I had worked as a boy, which left miners dead and injured. Survivors of that accident told of the severe throat pains caused by a mixture of carbon monoxide, gas and smoke inhalation.

These poor Turkish miners suffered horrible, painful deaths.

Their local communities are devastated and broken. As in Senghenydd, the pain will never leave them.

The Turkish Miners’ Union has, rightly, gone on strike. The recent privatisation of Turkish mines has put the men’s safety in second place to profit.

Whilst the bereaved suffer, the mining bosses who were responsible will still live in their big houses.

Those left behind are calling it murder.

And I believe it is.

Cllr Ray Davies Bedwas Caerphilly

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