Explosion At Mine Kills At Least 28 And Traps Dozens More Underground

In the northern Turkish province of Bartin, 28 people have died and dozens are trapped underground after a coal mine exploded.

There were 110 people in the mine when the blast occurred on Friday, almost half of them over 300 meters below ground.

The health minister of Turkey, Fahrettin Koca, reported 11 people had been rescued and were being treated.

In an attempt to reach more survivors, emergency crews worked through the night, digging through rock.

Families and friends of the missing were also spotted at the mine, anxiously awaiting word.

It is believed that the explosion occurred at a depth of around 300m. According to Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, 49 people were working in the “risky” zone between 300 and 350m (985 to 1,150ft) underground.

“We were not able to evacuate some people from that area,” Mr Soylu told reporters.

An investigation has been launched by the local prosecutor’s office into the cause of the blast.

The Turkish energy minister said there were initial indications that the blast was caused by methane in coal mines forming an explosive mix called firedamp.

” It is a very regrettable situation that we are facing,” he added.

Parts of the mine collapsed, he said, but there were no ongoing fires, and ventilation was working properly.

The Turkish president is expected to visit the site on Saturday.

In a statement, Amasra’s mayor Recai Cakir said many of those who survived suffered “serious injuries”.

According to a worker who escaped alone, “There was dust and smoke, and we’re not sure what happened.”

It is owned by Turkish Hard Coal Enterprises, a state-owned company.

In 2014, 301 people died in the western town of Soma in Turkey’s deadliest coal mining disaster.

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