One of the biggest concerns in the commodities world is safety… Whether it’s a coal mine, chemical power plant, or deepsea drilling, there’s always a certain level of risk.
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Just last month, chaos broke out in Turkey after one of its mines exploded, racking up a death toll of well over 200. Hundreds of people congregated outside of the mine and the hospitals… anticipating news on injured loved ones, and not to mention the hundreds more who were still trapped inside.
Freezer trucks transformed into morgues – holding tons of dead bodies. Psychiatrists arrived on the scene to help the families process and cope with the devastation.
You get the picture: It was a horror scene out of a Lifetime movie special… But for these people, it was anything but fiction.
As the harsh reality set in, the tragedy gave light to the blundering safety issue that Turkey faced with its mines…
Ozgur Ozel, The Opposition Republican People’s Party Deputy for Manisa Region, says, “In Soma, there are continuous explosions in mines, and in those explosions, we lose our workers. Our parliamentary questions were: ‘We inspected 10 times. We’ve found 66 flaws. They were fined.’ Result? New explosion, new losses.”
As a result, officials took a closer look at the safety standards of Turkey’s state-run mines. But Turkey isn’t the only one experiencing casualties in the pursuit of commodities…
The Netherlands Are Ablaze
Late this past Tuesday night, fire crews rushed to the Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) chemical plant in the Netherlands after a fire broke out. The fires were caused by a series of explosions at the Moerdijk plant, where oil-based chemicals are manufactured for a wide variety of products. Some say that the smoke could be seen from 30 kilometers away.
Unlike the tragedy in Turkey, only two people suffered minor injuries, which is quite a feat in itself… given the colossal size of the blaze.
For now, officials have yet to track the cause of the explosions. But Shell has committed itself to the safety of its people and the environment, as well.
And “the chase” continues,
Commodities Research Team