Death toll in Turkish mine blast exceeds 200

An explosion at a coal mine in western Turkey has left at least 201 workers dead and scores injured,the BBC reports. 

Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said 787 people had been inside the mine at Soma in Manisa province when an electrical fault triggered the blast.

Rescuers worked through the night, but Mr. Yildiz said hopes were fading of finding any more survivors.

Worried relatives have gathered near the privately owned mine, about 450km (280 miles) west of the capital Ankara.

Mr Yildiz confirmed the latest death toll on Turkish TV and said some 80 people had been injured.

He said that of the workers inside the mine at the time of the accident, only about 360 of them – including those killed – had been accounted for.

Mr Yildiz said that carbon monoxide poisoning had claimed many lives. Oxygen was being pumped into the mine to help those still trapped.

He later said hopes were fading that anyone else would be found alive

The electrical fault triggered a power cut, making the mine cages unusable. Those trapped are reported to be 2km (1.2 miles) below the surface and 4km from the mine entrance.

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