Mine accidents are not uncommon in Turkey. On Friday there was a devastating explosion in a mine around 300 meters underground in the north of the country. At least 25 people were killed.
At least 25 people have died in a massive explosion at a coal mine in northern Turkey. This was announced by the governor’s office of the Black Sea province of Bartin, as reported by the Turkish news agency Anadolu.
Six injured miners were sent to Istanbul for treatment. Dozens of other miners are believed to be trapped underground at the mine in the Black Sea district of Amasra. Local media reported that mine gas probably exploded about 300 meters below the surface of the earth. Around 150 people are involved in the search and rescue operations.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca had previously spoken of 22 dead and 17 injured, eight of whom were in critical condition. The mine is about 300 kilometers northeast of the capital Ankara.
According to the Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, 110 workers were in the mine at the time of the accident, 49 of them in a more vulnerable deeper part. According to the governor’s office, 36 miners were brought to safety from the accident site.
Erdogan wants to visit mine
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter that he would visit the scene of the accident on Saturday to “coordinate” rescue efforts. An investigation into the incident has been launched. The main opposition party, the social-democratic CHP, said the authorities had ignored a 2019 report by the Court of Auditors warning of a risk of a mine gas explosion at the mine.
There have been serious mine accidents in Turkey in recent years, partly due to poor safety regulations. In 2014, an explosion at a coal mine in Manisa province in the Aegean region killed a total of 301 people. dpa