Thursday, May 15, 2014

Turkey Coal Mining Death Toll Rises in Worst-Ever Mine Disaster --- ISTANBUL - The death toll in a Turkish coal mining accident has climbed to 274, the nation's energy minister said, making it Turkey's worst mining disaster in history. -- Tuesday's explosion and fire in the western town of Soma trapped hundreds of others more than a mile under the earth's surface. -- Anxious family members gathered at the entrance to the mine as bodies were pulled out, but Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said “hopes are diminishing” of finding more survivors. -- The new death toll from the accident tops a 1992 gas explosion that killed 263 workers near Turkey's Black Sea port of Zonguldak, the Associated Press reported. -- The fire from the initial explosion overnight continued to burn into the morning, hampering rescue efforts and sending a pall of smoke over the scene. -- Air was pumped into the mine to help trapped workers, with most of the victims killed by carbon monoxide poisoning. --- “May god wish mercy upon our brothers who lost their lives, and I hope our wounded brothers will get well soon,” said Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who declared three days of national mourning. -- Yildiz said 787 people were inside the coal mine in Soma, some 155 miles south of Istanbul, at the time of the explosion. He said 80 people were wounded including 20 of the rescue workers. -- Nearly 450 other miners had been rescued, the mining company said, but the fate of an unknown number of others was still unclear Wednesday. - More, NBCNews


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