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'Hundreds trapped' as Turkey coal mine blast kills 17

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'Hundreds trapped' as Turkey coal mine blast kills 17


At least 17 coal miners have been killed and hundreds more are feared trapped underground after an explosion and fire in western Turkey.

Rescue teams are desperately trying to reach more than 200 workers believed to be below the surface.

Initial reports suggest the disaster at the mine in Soma, some 120 km northeast of the Aegean coastal city of Izmir, was caused by an electrical fault.

As oxygen was being pumped into mine shafts where the trapped workers are thought to be, those injured in the blast were being treated in hospital.

Relatives gathered amid uncertainty over who was or was not in the mine, with the explosion said to have happened during a change in shifts.

Local media says many of the almost 600 people believed to have been inside did manage to escape.

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