201 dead in Turkey mine explosion, hundreds trapped

Published time: May 13, 2014 15:49
Edited time: May 14, 2014 02:47

People gather at a mine in the Soma district in the western Turkish province of Manisa on May 13, 2014.(AFP Photo / Ihlas News Agency)

People gather at a mine in the Soma district in the western Turkish province of Manisa on May 13, 2014.(AFP Photo / Ihlas News Agency)

A mine explosion in western Turkey has killed 201, according to Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, and the toll could rise with many more still trapped.

Yildiz told reporters 787 workers were in the Soma mine when the explosion hit a power unit, Reuters reported.

Most of the confirmed dead were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning, Yildiz added.

An additional 80 people were injured and hospitalized, he said, four of them in critical condition.

AP reported that more than 200 miners are still trapped in the debris. More than 360 workers have been evacuated thus far.

Rescue workers pumped oxygen into the mine in an attempt to keep trapped miners alive, Reuters reported. A line of police held back thousands of family and fellow workers of the trapped miners who assembled outside of a Soma hospital.

“Fresh air, oxygen is being pumped into the mine. This is the most important thing for our workers down there,” Yildiz said.

 

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