Death toll rises to 28 in Turkey coal mine explosion

Death toll rises to 28 in Turkey coal mine explosion

The death toll from a coal mine explosion in northern Turkey has reached at least 28 people and rescue efforts are continuing, officials said on Saturday.

110 miners were working in the shaft at the time of the explosion at the state-owned TTK Amasara Musese Mudurlugu mine in the city of Amasara in the Black Sea coastal province of Bartin on Friday evening.

Energy Minister Fatih Durmaz said rescue operations were underway for 15 people in the mine gallery, most of whom were still on fire.

“It’s not a huge fire, but to get there safely, the fire and the carbon monoxide gas have to be eliminated,” he told reporters at the scene.

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Durmaz said that four or five other miners were trapped in the caves. The minister had earlier said that preliminary assessments indicated that the explosion was probably caused by a fireamp, a reference to flammable gases found in coal mines.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted that 28 miners were killed and 11 rescued miners were hospitalized in Bartin and Istanbul. Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu said 58 people had been rescued alive.

The ambulance was kept on standby at the spot. Turkey’s disaster management agency AFAD said rescue teams had been sent to the region, including neighboring provinces.

The Turkish president is expected to visit Amasara on Saturday.

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

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