Amasra – The death toll from a coal mine explosion in northern Turkey rose to at least 28 on Saturday, officials said. A fire broke out in the mine, and rescue efforts continued as desperate relatives waited for news.
110 miners were working in a shaft when an explosion occurred Friday night at the state-owned TTK Amasra Muesem Mudurlugh mine in Amasra, Baltan province on the Black Sea coast.
Energy Minister Fatih Durmaz said efforts were continuing to reach 15. Most of them are in mine galleries where the fire is still burning.
“It’s not a big fire, but we need to get the fire and the carbon monoxide gas out to get there safely,” he told journalists at the scene.
Durmaz added that four or five other miners were trapped in the cave-in. The minister previously said preliminary assessments indicated the explosion was likely caused by firedamp, a reference to combustible gases found in coal mines.
Relatives of the miners waited outside the mine overnight, dressed in the cold.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted that 28 miners had died and 11 were hospitalized in Baltan and Istanbul. Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said 58 people had been rescued. The exact number was not clear.
A miner working the day shift said he rushed to the scene after seeing the news to help with the rescue. “We saw a horrible sight. Words cannot describe it. It is very sad,” said Celal Kara, who is 40 years old. His face was covered with soot.
An ambulance was waiting at the scene. According to Turkey’s disaster management agency AFAD, rescue teams including neighboring provinces have been dispatched to the area.
The Turkish president was due to visit Amasra on Saturday.
Turkey’s worst coal mine disaster occurred in 2014, when a fire broke out in a mine in the western Turkish town of Soma, killing 301 people.
Birginsoy reported from Istanbul.
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https://www.local10.com/news/world/2022/10/15/death-toll-rises-to-28-in-turkey-coal-mine-explosion/ 28 dead in Turkish coal mine explosion