At least 25 workers were killed and 28 injured in an explosion at a coal mine in northwestern Turkey on Friday, while several dozen miners were trapped 300 meters below sea level.
At least 25 people were killed and 28 injured in an explosion at a mine in the Black Sea coastal town of Amasra at 6:15pm local time (5:15pm Swiss time), a new report said. Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter that 11 people who came out of the mine were being treated in hospital.
Rescue teams were working on Friday evening to rescue dozens of workers trapped in galleries 300 and 350 meters below sea level.
According to Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, 49 of them will still be prisoners underground, noting that there were 110 minors at the time of the explosion.
Accumulation of firewood?
Rescue and medical teams, as well as family members of the trapped miners, many of whom had tears in their eyes, were visible in the first images broadcast by Turkish media from the entrance to the mine.
According to Madan-Is Union, quoted by Turkish media, the explosion was related to the accumulation of firetamp. But Turkish officials believe it is not too late to find the cause of the explosion.
Afad, Turkey’s public disaster management body, initially blamed the blast on a faulty transformer on Twitter, before backtracking.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent his energy and interior ministers to the scene, the country’s state agency said.
“I don’t know what happened. There was a sudden pressure and I couldn’t see anything,” one miner told Anatole, who managed to get out of the galleries on his own.
“Eighty-seven people were in the mine at the time of the explosion. We managed to evacuate almost half of them. Most of them are fine, but there are also serious injuries,” Amasra’s mayor Rekai Kakir told Private. Turkish channel NTV.
Accidents at work are frequent in Turkey, where strong economic growth over the past decade has often come at the expense of safety regulations, particularly in the construction and mining industries.
The country became acutely aware of this during an accident in Soma (West) in 2014: an explosion in a coal mine and the collapse of a well killed 301 miners.
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