Turkish Mine Explosion Leaves Scores Dead

At least 70 miners have been killed in an

underground explosion and fire in western


More than 200 others remain trapped in shafts

and tunnels up to 4km (2.5 miles) from the

nearest exit following the blast at a mine in


There are conflicting reports about the number

of casualties, although Turkey's disaster

management agency AFAD said 70 workers are

known to have died.

Television footage showed people cheering and

applauding as at least 11 trapped miners,

many of them coughing and covered in dust,

were pulled out alive.

The accident happened when a power

distribution unit exploded around 2km (1.2

miles) below the ground, Nurettin Akcul, head

of the Turkish Mineworkers' Union, said.

It is thought the explosion happened during a

change of shifts, leading to confusion over the

exact number of workers still inside.

Fresh air is being pumped into the mine to

help stranded workers who may be struggling

to breathe.

In a statement, the mine's owners, Soma

Komur, described the explosion as a "tragic

accident" which happened "despite maximum

safety measures and inspections".

According to Turkey's ministry of labour, the

complex was last inspected on March 17 and

was found to be compliant with safety


Mining accidents are not unheard of in Turkey,

where workers sometimes endure poor safety


The country's worst mining disaster was in

1992, when a gas explosion killed 270 workers

near the Black Sea port of Zonguldak.


Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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