Turkey coalmine blast leaves at least 25 dead with dozens still trapped

At least 25 people have died after an apparent methane blast tore through a pit on Turkey’s Black Sea coast, with rescuers searching for dozens of coalminers still trapped hundreds of metres underground.

Updating the death toll, Fahrettin Koca, the health minister, also tweeted that 11 others pulled out alive were being treated in hospital.

Süleyman Soylu, the interior minister, said earlier that 28 people who either managed to crawl out on their own or were saved by rescuers had suffered various injuries in one of Turkey’s deadliest industrial accidents in years.

“We are facing a truly regretful situation,” Soylu told reporters after urgently flying out to the small coalmining town of Amasra. “In all, 110 of our brothers were working [underground]. Some of them came out on their own, and some of them were rescued.”

He also confirmed early reports that almost 50 miners were still trapped in two separate areas between 300 and 350 metres below ground.

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This article was written by Agence France-Presse in Istanbul and originally published on www.theguardian.com