Mine blast kills 40 in Turkey

Authorities investigating cause of underground methane explosion

published :
15 Oct 2022 at 16:51

updated:
15 Oct 2022 at 20:29


A woman is comforted as she waits outside a coal mine where an explosion took 41 lives in Amasra, in Bartin province of Turkey on Saturday. (Reuters Photo)

BARTIN, Turkey: The death toll from a methane blast in a coal mine in northwestern Turkey rose to 41 on Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, after the last missing miner was found dead.

“Our priority was to find the miners in the gallery. We finally reached the last one. He also died, bringing the number of deaths to 41,” Erdogan said, ending rescue operations more than 20 hours after the deadly explosion on Friday evening.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said earlier that 110 people were working in the mine when the blast occurred and 58 were rescued or got out by themselves.

“There is still a fire going on there. Miners and teams have made great sacrifices not to leave their brothers there,” he said at the site.

He said one miner was discharged from hospital while 10 were still receiving treatment in Bartin and Istanbul.

Energy Minister Fatih Donmez later said the fire in the mine was largely contained but fire isolation and cooling efforts were continuing after the incident that took place 350 metres below ground.

Authorities said Turkish prosecutors have launched an investigation into the cause of the incident but initial indications were that the blast was caused by firedamp, a term referring to methane in coal mines.

In 2014, 301 workers were killed in Turkey’s worst-ever mining disaster in the western town of Soma, 350 kilometres south of Istanbul.