Turkish mine explosion kills 28 and leaves dozens trapped

At least 28 people have died and dozens remain trapped underground after an explosion in a coal mine in northern Turkey’s Bartin province, the BBC reports.

Around 110 people were in the mine at the time of the blast on Friday, almost half of them at over 300 metres deep.

Turkey’s health minister Fahrettin Koca said 11 people had been rescued and were being treated.

Emergency crews worked through the night, digging through rock to try to reach more survivors.

The explosion is believed to have occurred at around 300m deep. Some 49 people were working in the “risky” zone between 300 and 350m underground, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said.

“There are those whom we were not able to evacuate from that area,” Mr Soylu told reporters at the scene.

The cause of the blast is not yet known, and the local prosecutor’s office has begun an investigation.

Turkey’s energy minister said there were initial indications that the blast was caused by firedamp, which is methane forming an explosive mixture in coal mines.

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