Turkish coal mine blast leaves 22 dead and dozens trapped

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Turkish Coal Mine Blast Leaves 22 Dead And Dozens Trapped Turkish Coal Mine Blast Leaves 22 Dead And Dozens Trapped
Turkey Mine Explosion, © AP/Press Association Images
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By Associated Press Reporter

An explosion inside a coal mine in northern Turkey has killed at least 22 people as rescuers try to bring dozens of others trapped inside the mine to the surface.

The explosion occurred at the state-owned TTK Amasra Muessese Mudurlugu mine in the town of Amasra, in the Black Sea coastal province of Bartin.

Energy minister Fatih Donmez said a preliminary assessment indicated the explosion was likely caused by firedamp — a reference to flammable gases found in coal mines.


Miners carry the body of a victim in Amasra (Nilay Meryem Comlek/Depo Photos via AP)

There were 110 people in the mine at the time of the explosion, interior minister Suleyman Soylu said. Most of the workers were able to evacuate following the blast but 49 were trapped in a higher risk area of the facility.

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Mr Soylu would not provide a number for those still trapped, saying some among the 49 had been lifted to safety.

Health minister Fahrettin Koca announced on Twitter that 22 people were killed in the blast. He did not say how many people were taken out of the mine with injuries but said eight were in a serious condition.

Several rescue teams were dispatched to the area, including from neighbouring provinces.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced he was cancelling a planned visit to the south-eastern city of Diyarbakir and would travel to Amasra instead to coordinate the rescue operation.

The private DHA news agency quoted one worker, who escaped from the mine, as saying he felt a “pressure” but he could not see anything due to the dust and dirt.

People rushed to the mine for news of trapped friends or colleagues, DHA reported.

In Turkey’s worst mine disaster, a total of 301 people died in 2014 in a fire inside a coal mine in the town of Soma, in western Turkey.

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