‘At least 200 killed’ in Turkish coal mine blast

An explosion at a coal mine in western Turkey has reportedly killed at least 200 workers. Believed to be one of the worst mining disasters in Turkish history, the death […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

An explosion at a coal mine in western Turkey has reportedly killed at least 200 workers.

Believed to be one of the worst mining disasters in Turkish history, the death toll is expected to rise.

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said 787 people were inside the mine at Soma in Manisa province when an electrical fault triggered the blast. Carbon monoxide poisoning is said to have killed most of those confirmed dead while more than 70 were injured and hospitalised.

Reports claimed hundreds of workers still remain trapped in shafts and tunnels up to four kilometres from the nearest exit and that oxygen was being pumped into the mine to help those still in.

Television reports showed worried family members and fellow workers gathered near the privately owned mine, located around 450 kilometres west of the capital Ankara.

Turkey’s worst mining accident was in 1992 when a gas explosion killed more than 260 workers in the Black Sea province of Zonguldak. Another gas blast in May 2010 killed 30 miners in the same province.