40 killed in Turkey mine blast


Rescuers on Saturday searched for the last miner missing at a coal mine in northern Turkey, where a methane blast the previous day killed at least 40 people in one of the country’s worst industrial accidents in years.

The blast ripped through the mine near the small coal mining town of Amasra on Turkey’s Black Sea coast shortly before sunset on Friday.

“We are approaching the end of the rescue operation,” a tearful Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said at the scene on Saturday.

“The search continues for the sole person whose fate is unknown,” he said, adding that the fire that had broken out in the tunnels following the blast was now mostly under control.

Updating the death toll, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said: “We have counted 40 dead in total. Fifty-eight miners were able to be rescued, either by themselves or thanks to rescuers.”

He said 28 people had been injured as a result of the blast. Soylu had said earlier some 110 people had been underground at the time of the explosion.

Television images showed anxious crowds congregating around a damaged white building near the entrance to the pit in search of news for their friends and loved ones.—Agencies

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