Turkey coal mine explosion kills 41 as rescue efforts end

Credit: IBTimes UK via YouTube

An explosion at a coal mine in northern Turkey on Friday evening killed 41 people and injured others, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, as search and rescue efforts came to an end.

A fire broke out at the mine in the northern Bartin province of Amasra district on Friday. Initial findings suggest an explosion of flammable gases, known as firedamp, Turkey’s Energy Minister Fatih Donmez was cited as saying earlier by the state-run Anadolu Agency.

Erdogan canceled his program in Diyarbakir scheduled for Saturday and traveled to Amasra instead. He called for the country’s mines to be made safe. “We don’t want to see any shortfall or unnecessary risks in our mines anymore,” he said at the site of the explosion.

Some 58 workers were rescued at the mine where 110 workers were present at the time of the explosion, said Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

Some of the wounded have been transported to Istanbul, about 400 kilometers (249 miles) to the west. Turkey assigned three prosecutors to investigate the accident.

In a series of Twitter posts earlier, Erdogan said that judicial authorities will investigate all details about the accident.

The accident is the deadliest since the Soma coal mine disaster in western Turkey in 2014, the nation’s worst. In that case, an underground fire killed 301 people, prompting clashes between police and protesters over the government’s response.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was among those who sent condolences.

(By Tugce Ozsoy)


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