11th body retrieved from mine collapse in Siirt, search continues for 5 missing

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Relatives of the miners, who are trapped under the mine, wait as search and rescue team members work at the disaster site after a landslide caused a collapse at the private "Madenkoy copper mine" in Turkey's southeastern Siirt Province's Sirvan District on November 19, 2016.

The death toll rose as search and rescue teams on Sunday retrieved an 11th body from a copper mine that collapsed in southeastern Turkey while five workers remain trapped underground.

At least 16 miners were trapped in the Madenköy copper mine, located in the Şirvan district of Siirt province, late on Nov.17 after it was hit by a landslide, triggering a collapse that initially killed four people whose bodies were recovered by rescuers.

Private company Park Elektrik A.Ş. blamed heavy rains for the landslide, which collapsed a hillside, burying the workers and their equipment.

The Siirt Governor’s Office said an investigation has been launched, but authorities believe a landslide triggered by heavy rains caused the mine collapse.

Six people including the mine’s manager and two work safety experts have been detained by the police so far in relation to the mine tragedy in Şirvan.

In 2014, 301 miners were killed in a fire inside a coal mine in Soma, western Turkey, the nation’s worst mining disaster. The tragedy exposed poor safety standards and superficial government inspections in Turkey’s mines.

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