40 killed, dozens trapped by explosion in Turkey coal mine

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CNN

An explosion inside a coal mine in northern Turkey has killed at least 40 people and left 11 others hospitalized, state news media reported on Saturday.

The explosion took place in the Black Sea town of Amasra in Bartin province on Friday, trapping dozens beneath the rubble of the blast.

Eleven wounded workers were treated in hospitals, state news agency Anadolu said citing a statement from the country’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Donmez said that a fire that broke out after the blast is largely under control, Anadolu reported.

Rescuers are working through the night as the death toll rises, with video footage from the scene showing miners emerging blackened and bleary-eyed.

There were 110 people in the mine at the time of the explosion, said Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, who traveled to Amasra to coordinate the search and rescue operation.

Officials have not yet determined the cause of the explosion.

“We are doing our best to ensure that the injured recover as soon as possible,” Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told reporters.

“I wish God’s mercy on each of them.”

Turkey witnessed its deadliest ever coal mining disaster in 2014, when 301 people died after a blast in the western town of Soma.

The disaster fueled public anger and discontent towards the government’s response to the tragedy.