Turkey: 28 killed in northern Turkey mine blast
By Zehra Nur Duz and Beyza Binnur Donmez
ANKARA (AA): Twenty-eight workers were killed Friday in a blast at a coal mine in northern Turkey, according to the Turkish health minister.
“The number of deaths due to the blast in Bartin has reached 28. Everything necessary is being done for our 11 patients, 6 in Istanbul and 5 in Bartin,” Fahrettin Koca wrote on Twitter.
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Donmez said teams tried to reduce the effect of the fire that broke out in a gallery after the mine blast.
He said: “10-11 workers are in the area where the fire continues. We evaluate that 4-5 workers are in the area where the dents are located.”
Eleven of the 58 rescued miners are being treated at hospitals, according to Communication Directorate Fahrettin Altun.
Donmez said initial findings indicate the blast was caused by firedamp, an explosive mixture of flammable gases in mines.
Dozens of miners have been trapped underground since around 6:15 pm local time (1515GMT), with nearly 150 personnel engaged in search and rescue operations.
Bartin Governor Nurtac Arslan said earlier that 12 miners had been pulled from the mins and at least 49 were trapped.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is closely monitoring the situation, the Turkish Presidency wrote on Twitter.
“Our hope is that the loss of life will not increase further, that our miners will be found alive,” Erdogan said in a tweet.
“All of our efforts are aimed in this direction.”
He canceled a planned trip to eastern Diyarbakir province and will instead travel Saturday to Amasra.
Erdogan said in a tweet that search and rescue operations are progressing “rapidly” at the mine.
[Photo: Relatives of the coal miners wait for their dear ones who are trapped in the mine in Turkey’s northern Bartin province on October 15, 2022. Photojournalist :Utku Ucrak/AA]