Dozens of miners are trapped after an explosion in a coal mine in northern Turkey, and the rescue operation is still underway. At least 28 people were killed.
Today, Friday, it exploded inside a mine in the port of the Turkish city of Amasra in the province of Barin, located on the Black Sea coast, according to a number of Turkish media.
The explosion occurred at a depth of 300 meters underground shortly after five in the morning Norwegian time.
The death toll has now risen to 28, and many have been sent to hospital with injuries, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said before 10pm Norwegian time on Friday night. Three people were admitted to the intensive care unit.
May God have mercy on our brothers who lost their lives, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement Friday evening. He offers his condolences to the injured, and wishes the injured a speedy recovery.
Meanwhile, Erdogan announced that he will go to Amasra tomorrow, Saturday, according to the Turkish Anatolia News Agency.
Possible gas explosion
Local governor Nurtak Arslan said earlier in the evening that five workers were said to have been trapped 350 meters underground, while 44 others were trapped 300 meters underground.
It is not clear how many people are still trapped, but at 22.45 NST no more people were reported rescued.
Soylu and Energy Minister Fatih Donmez arrived at the site earlier Friday evening.
Dönmez says that the first assessments indicated that it was a gas explosion.
The Turkish Miners’ Union Madden believes that the explosion in the coal mine occurred as a result of the accumulation of methane gas.
According to the Turkish Ministry of Crisis Management and Preparedness, the explosion must have occurred in one of the transformers. In a later update, it says that the information was shared in error, and the cause was not identified.
go out alone
Amasra Mayor Rikkai Kaker told Haberturk TV station that there were 87 miners at the mine when the explosion occurred.
At least 14 of them were rescued or managed to get out with their help, and two of them were injured.
An interview is conducted with a miner at the site.
– I went out on my own, he says.
– There was so much dust I couldn’t see, he says.
Television footage from the scene showed hundreds of relatives gathered at a destroyed white building at the entrance to the mine, many of them with tears in their eyes.
Video from the scene shows people being taken to ambulances on stretchers.
According to Reuters, the mine is owned by the state-owned Turkish Hard Coal Enterprises.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu offers his condolences to those who lost their lives and prays for the speedy recovery of the injured.
Rescue work continues without interruption. Our links are with Barten, he said in a statement.
According to the Turkish news agency Anatolia An investigation into the accident has begun.
Turkey’s worst mining accident occurred in 2014 when 301 people died in a coal mine fire in Soma, in the west of the country.
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