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In a small Dutch town, the dead miners were commemorated

Last Sunday, May 14, 2023, a group of people gathered at Holy Mass in the cathedral of Petrus en Pauluskerk Kerckplein Schaesberg (The Netherlands) to honor the 130 miners who died, 50 surface workers and 12 workers of the coke plant of the state mine Mauritz in Geleen. Those gathered didn't just talk about the Dutch workers who lost their lives at work. Participants remembered the situation of miners in Belarus and Turkey.

Speaking of miners, one often recalls the terrible disasters that caused grief and loss. One of them occurred at the Maurica mine in Gehlen on March 3, 1958, when the roof support collapsed, claiming the lives of seven miners. Their names: J.L.F Blommaert, B.Groot Karsijn, F. Hipwood, Silvio Lindiri, JD Noort, Vittorio Pintusen и F.K.Zitarski. This is just one of the many tragic accidents that occur all the time in mines around the world.

Dead Dutch miners

On May 13, 2014, one of the worst mine accidents in recent years occurred in Soma, Turkey. At the time, 301 miners were killed in a terrible accident. On May 17, 2010, in Zonguldak, also in Turkey, 30 people were victims of a mine gas explosion.

Evacuation of miners in Soma / photo:

Belarus was brought up because of the long-standing cooperation between the Dutch trade union FNV and the BKDP on occupational health and safety issues. Some of the participants had met with miners in Saligorsk and had first-hand knowledge of working conditions.

The health hazards for miners are not unique to Turkey. In many parts of the world miners face hazards on a daily basis. There are mines in Belarus, Belgium, Germany, Russia, Chile, Ukraine and other places where the lives of workers hang in the balance. It reminds us of the dangers miners face around the world.

Don't forget that miners are the ones who risk their lives extracting the minerals that are the foundation of our modern way of life. Every day they go into the bowels of the earth to bring light and heat to our homes, energy to our businesses and raw materials to our industries. Let us remember and pay tribute to all the miners who work in the bowels of the earth, whether in Belarus, Turkey or anywhere else in the world. Their sacrifice and dedication must not be forgotten, but must serve as a reminder that without their labor and courage our world would be a very different place.

Participants in the memorial event hope that other countries will join this monthly event, which has become a tradition.

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