Israel's Peres offers condolences for Turkey mine blast
By Abdel-Raouf Arnaout, Wednesday, May 14, 2014
JERUSALEM – Israeli President Shimon Peres on Wednesday offered his condolences to Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul for the death on Tuesday of scores of people in a mine fire in western Turkey.
"In my name and in the name of the people of Israel, I express my deepest condolences to your country for the tragic accident," Peres wrote in a public message to Gul.
He said his country was ready to offer assistance to Turkey should the need arise.
On Wednesday, Turkish Prime Minister RecepTayyip Erdogan put the death toll from Tuesday's coal mine fire at 232.
A short time later, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said total fatalities from the accident had reached 245.
Turkey has declared three days of national mourning – during which flags will fly at half-mast and parliament will be closed – for victims of what is being described as one of the worst mining accidents in the country's history.
Earlier Wednesday,Turkish officials said hopes of finding and rescuing any more trapped miners were "fading."
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