Friends and relatives await news after the mine explosion Friends and relatives await news after the mine explosion  (AFP or licensors)

Blast in Turkish coal mine kills 40, rescue effort continues

At least 40 people have been killed in northeastern Turkey following an explosion deep inside a coal mine.

By Nathan Morley

A gas build-up and explosion inside a coal mine in Turkey’s Black Sea region killed at least 40 people.

State radio said there were 110 miners employed in the shaft when the blast occurred on Friday night, moments before sunset.

Throughout Saturday, rescue efforts and work to contain a fire continued.

Remarkably, despite the dark, 58 mine workers managed to get out of the pit on their own or were rescued without injury.

Initial assessments indicate the blast inside the government-owned mine was caused by pockets of highly flammable gases trapped in the coal bed.

Investigation launched

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to visit the mine and inspect the ongoing rescue effort.

Relatives of the missing miners continue to wait outside, desperate for news.

TRT, the national TV network, said three prosecutors had been assigned to investigate the explosion and would start work immediately.

Just eight years ago, 301 people died in a fire inside a coal mine in western Turkey.

The country has a poor mining safety record and one of the worst in Europe—there have been over 2,500 deaths in the last 30-years.

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15 October 2022, 14:20