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Turkey: Race against time to rescue trapped miners
May 14, 2014, 8:33 am

Turkish authorities said 57 injured miners had been safely extracted and moved to local hospitals [Xinhua]

Turkish authorities said 57 injured miners had been safely extracted and moved to local hospitals [Xinhua]


Turkish rescue teams were battling the clock to rescue workers believed to still be trapped in a deep underground coal mine in Soma, 244 kilometers south of Istanbul.

According to Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, a transformer explosion late Tuesday caused a fire in the mine, which killed at least 201 people – many due to carbon monoxide poisoning. He said that there were 787 people in the mine at the time of the explosion.

The Natural Disaster and Emergency Coordination Directorate, which is overseeing the rescue efforts said that they had evacuated 80 injured miners to local hospitals. The injured list was later revised to 57.

At press time, Yildiz said that some 363 workers had been rescued so far, but that at least 200 remained unaccounted for and are feared trapped inside.

Rescue teams have been pumping fresh air into parts of the mine shaft where there is no fire.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan postponed his trip to Albania and will likely visit Soma later today.

Turkish authorities have announced three days of national mourning, ordering flags to be lowered to half-staff.

Source: Agencies

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