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At least 14 people have been killed and several more injured in a horror coal mine explosion in Amasra, Turkey.
According to the İhlas News Agency, Turkey's Minister of Interior Süleyman Soylu said: “We lost 14 lives and were hospitalised with 21 injuries.”
When news of the blast in Turkey's northern Bartin province broke earlier today (Friday, October 14), Health Minister Fahrettin Koca initially said only two were dead, 20 injured and 49 trapped.
Bartin prosecutor's office launched an investigation into the cause of the explosion, according to the state-owned Anadolu news agency.
Evidently, as that investigation progresses authorities are discovering increasing amounts of fatalities.
Turkey's Disaster Management Authority (AFAD) initially released statement saying that the explosion was caused by a transformer at the mine.
However, that statement has since been retracted and the cause remains unconfirmed.
According to local media, it could have been caused by "firedamp" – the name given to any flammable gas found in coal mines, typically coalbed methane.
The blast occurred at 300m (985ft) below the mine's entrance at around 3.15pm, according to the Office of Nurtac Arslan, Governor of Bartin.
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The Anadolu news agency have quoted Arslan as saying that 44 people are trapped at 300m down, with a further five at 350m.
Harrowing footage on Turkish TV purported to show the families of miners gathered at the facility's entrance.
Rescue workers were seen huddled together while some miners were carried onto ambulance by stretchers.
TRT Haber cited Arslan as saying eight people were able to escape the mine on their own.
Turkish President Recep Erdogan has cancelled a trip to Diyarbakır scheduled for tomorrow.
His office said in a statement: "President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is closely following the process of the mining explosion in the Amasra district of our Bartın province and the coordination of the works in which all institutions participate.
"After the mining explosion, the Minister of Labor and Social Security Vedat Bilgin, Energy and Natural Minister of Resources Fatih Dönmez and Minister of Interior Süleyman Soylu were transferred to the region upon the instructions of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan." .
- Breaking News
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