ANKARA: An explosion occurred in a coal mine in the western Turkish province of Manisa that left at least 201 miners killed and 80 others injured while more than 200 miners were still trapped in the debris.
The Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz on early Wednesday described the situation at the mine as worrisome.
“We fear the number (of casualties) could rise even further because those who came to help out may be among the injured and affected by the smoke,” the minister said.
Yildiz said that 787 workers were working inside the coal mine at the time of accident in Soma, a town of Manisa province, when the explosion took place which was caused by an electrical fault.
The minister said that more than 360 workers had been evacuated thus far.
The explosion, which occurred about 1.2 miles below the surface, reportedly disabled an elevator in the mine shaft. The workers were trapped some 2.5 miles from the exit.