Turkey Coal Mine Explosion: Over 200 Killed, several injured

LBA News Network

An explosion in coal mine of Western Turkey killed at least 201 workers and left more than 80 injured, officials said.

The blast happened at about 12.30 GMT on May 13th. Taner Yildiz, Energy Minister of Turkey, said that around 787 people were inside the coal mine when the explosion took place. About 363 of those trapped have been rescued.

The blast occurred because of the electrical fault which triggered a power cut, making the mine cages unusable. The explosion took place at the time of a shift change, which increased the number of casualties because there were more miners inside the mine than usual.

Mr Yildiz said that carbon monoxide had claimed many lives. The fire was still blazing 18 hours after the blast. Oxygen was being pumped into the mine to help those still trapped, he added.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has postponed the trip to Albania and is to visit Soma instead, his office said.

The owners of the ill-fated coal mine said that the investigation was underway, but the accident occurred despite the highest safety measures and constant controls. They maintained that the main priority right now is to get the workers reunited with their families and loved ones.

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