Coal mine blast traps 32, wounds 11 in north Turkey: report

08:29, May 18, 2010      

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Thirty-two workers were trapped underground while another 11 were wounded after a coal mine blast in north Turkey on Monday, Turkish media reported.

Turkey's Labor Minister Omer Dincer put the number of workers trapped at the Karadon mine in the Black Sea province of Zonguldak at 32, more than the previously reported 25, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News reported on its website.

Zonguldak governor Erdal Ata said the 11 injured miners had been rushed to a nearby hospital, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported earlier in the day.

Evacuation teams had entered the mine to reach the trapped but could not hear from the miners yet, said acting general manager Mahmut Ozcelik of the Turkish Anthracite Coal Foundation, which runs the mine.

He said the explosion might have been caused by a malfunction in the electrical system, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

Turkey has seen several mine accidents in recent months, with 13 miners killed in a gas explosion in a coal mine in the northwestern Balikesir province in February and 19 workers killed when a coal mine in northwest Bursa province caved in after the workers set off some dynamite last December.

In Turkey's worst mining disaster, a gas explosion killed 270 workers in Zonguldak in 1992.



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