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Coal mine blast kills 41 in Turkey

17 October 2022

A coal mine explosion in Turkey’s northern Bartin province killed 41 people on October 14. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said that 110 people were in the mine when the blast happened and that 58 managed to escape or were rescued. A two-day search and rescue operation ended after the final missing body was discovered around 20 hours after the explosion happened.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

The incident occurred at a facility belonging to state-owned Turkish Hard Coal Enterprises in the port town of Amasra, on Turkey’s Black Sea coast. Almost half of the 110 people in the mine had been more than 300 metres (948ft) underground when the explosion occurred.

Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told reporters that as of October 16, 10 people remained in hospital with injuries while one had earlier been discharged with minor injuries.

Emergency crews began search and rescue efforts shortly after the explosion was initially reported. At first, dozens of miners were reported to be missing, however after crews worked through the night attempting to reach survivors for more than 20 hours, it was confirmed that all the missing had died.

Authorities said an investigation into the incident had been launched to find the cause of the explosion. Some media reports have said initial indications are that the explosion was caused by the ignition of methane gas.

The explosion, which occurred 350 metres below the surface, caused a partial collapse of the mine but was largely contained.

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