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19 Turkish miners believed killed in blast

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19 Turkish miners believed killed in blast


An explosion at a coal mine in north west Turkey is reported to have killed 19 workers.

The Turkish Labour minister says the blast is likely to have been caused by a build-up of methane gas at a site in the western Bursa province.

At least 13 miners were believed trapped below ground but it is now thought they too may have died. The explosion, close to the town of Mustafakemalpasa, took place between 250 and 350 metres below ground.

Details are sketchy but early reports suggest the explosion caused a tunnel collapse and a fire.

Rescue work is being hampered by the high concentration of poisonous gas. Oxygen is being pumped into the shaft in an attempt to dissolve the methane.

Accidents are not uncommon in Turkish mines due to safety issues and outdated equipment. Turkey’s worst mining disaster killed 270 workers near the Black Sea port of Zonguldak in 1992.

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