Turkey coal mine explosion kills 41, injures 11

Forty-one people have died following an explosion in a coal mine in northern Turkey, the country’s president says.

The discovery of the final missing body brings the rescue operation to an end, more than 20 hours after Friday’s deadly blast.

Earlier the interior minister said 58 people working in the mine when the blast went off were rescued or got out by themselves.

Suleyman Soylu said 10 people remained in hospital and one was discharged.

Around 110 people were in the mine at the time of Friday’s blast, almost half of them at more than 300m (984ft) deep.

Emergency crews had worked through the night, digging through rock to try to reach survivors.

Video footage showed miners emerging blackened and bleary-eyed accompanied by rescuers at the facility in Amasra, on the Black Sea coast.

Family and friends of the missing could also be seen at the mine, anxiously awaiting news of their loved ones.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been visiting the site in Bartin province, along with other ministers, and confirmed the final missing person had been found dead.

Authorities said Turkish prosecutors have launched an investigation into the cause of the explosion but initial indications were that the blast was caused by firedamp, a term referring to methane forming an explosive mixture in coal mines.

It is believed to have occurred at around 300m deep. At the time, some 49 people had been working in the “risky” zone between 300 and 350m underground, Mr Soylu said.

Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said there were partial collapses inside the mine, but no ongoing fires, and ventilation was working properly.


Amasra’s mayor Recai Cakir said many of those who survived had suffered “serious injuries”.

One worker who managed to escape on his own said: “There was dust and smoke and we don’t know exactly what happened.”

The mine belongs to the state-owned Turkish Hard Coal Enterprises.

Turkey witnessed its deadliest coal mining disaster in 2014, when 301 people died after a blast in the western town of Soma.

Source: BBC

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