WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez released the following statement regarding yesterday's deadly mine explosion in western Turkey:
"Yesterday in Turkey, hundreds of people left for their coal mining jobs and didn't come back.
"The United States stands in solidarity with Turkey as rescue efforts continue. We have experienced mine tragedies and disasters in our country over the years and understand the difficulties of the rescue operations and the grief and suffering of the families during these times.
"Tragedies like this remind us once again of the need to ensure that all workers return home safely at the end of their shifts. No one, anywhere in the world, should have to risk his or her life to earn a living. Nowhere should the job that supports your family, also devastate your family by taking a spouse, parent, child or sibling.
"I extend my deepest condolences to everyone who lost someone they loved in this shocking, horrific explosion. And I continue to pray for the safe rescue of those who remain trapped and fighting for their lives. At the Labor Department, we have reached out to officials in Turkey, and we stand ready to provide assistance in any way we can."