At least 40 people were killed in a coal mine explosion in northern Turkey, according to local authorities, while rescuers struggled through the night to free scores of additional trapped victims.
The explosion happened at 6:45 p.m. at the government-run TTK Amasra Muessese Mudurlugu mine in the town of Amasra, in the province of Bartin, which is on the Black Sea coast.
According to preliminary analysis, the explosion was probably brought on by firedamp, a term for flammable gases prevalent in coal mines, according to Energy Minister Fatih Donmez.
According to Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, who traveled to Amasra to organize the rescue effort, there were 110 people in the mine when it erupted. The majority of the employees were able to leave the building after the explosion, but 49 were stuck in a more dangerous region, according to the ministry.
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Soylu refused to give the number of those remaining trapped, claiming that some of the 49 had already been rescued.
We have to share an image with the public, which is something we regret deeply, Soylu stated.
According to the Bartin governor’s office, 25 people died in the explosion. At least 17 injuries were reported, with eight of them requiring treatment in intensive care units, according to health minister Fahrettin Koca.
Turkey’s disaster management organization, AFAD, reported that numerous rescue teams, including those from adjacent provinces, were sent to the area.
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In order to coordinate the rescue effort, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared he was postponing a trip to the southeast Turkish city of Diyarbakir in favor of Amasra. He said that the matter had been given the attention of three prosecutors.
In a statement, Erdogan stated, “Our wish is that the loss of life does not escalate further and that our miners are saved.” “Everything we do is aimed in that way.”
One employee reportedly told Bartin Governor Nurtac Arslan that he left the mine on his own, according to the private DHA news agency. He spoke of a “pressure,” but said that the dust and filth prevented him from seeing anything.