Speed Reads

A Disaster Underground

At least 41 dead following coal mine explosion in Turkey

At least 41 people have died and many more were injured following a coal mine explosion in Turkey, officials in the country said. 

The blast occurred late Friday in the northern Turkish town of Amasra, on the coast of the Black Sea. A report from Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, per BBC News, said that at least 11 people were injured and transported to area hospitals. One of these victims was later discharged. 

At least 58 people working in the mine when the blast went off were able to flee without injury, either from escaping themselves or being rescued. A total of 110 people were in the mine when the accident occurred, BBC News reported, with at least half of them at a depth of nearly 1,000 feet. 

Emergency crews worked through the night into Saturday morning to rescue survivors, as family and friends of those trapped reportedly began arriving at the mine awaiting news. The Associated Press reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan arrived at the scene just as a 41st victim was pulled from the rubble. 

"We don't want to see deficiencies or unnecessary risks," Erdoğan said, adding that an investigation into the explosion would soon get underway. 

BBC News reported that it was suspected the explosion was caused by a flammable mixture of gasses that became trapped in the mine. 

The worst mining disaster in Turkish history occurred in the town of Soma in 2014, when 301 people died in a blast.