Energy Minister: Turkey coal mine death toll at 283

The death toll from the Soma fire disaster has reached 283 after another dead miner was pulled from the mine, Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz has said

The death toll from the Soma fire disaster has reached 283 after another dead miner was pulled from the mine, Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz has said

ANKARA - The death toll from the Soma fire disaster has reached 283 after another dead miner was pulled from the mine, Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz has said.

"We have only three miners left in hospital in non-critical condition. All others have been released," said Yildiz at a press conference in the province of Manisa on Thursday.

Yildiz said all the bodies of those who died were being delivered to their families.

"Eight other bodies of our brothers are left to be delivered to their families," Yildiz added, and called on family members to make contact with the authorities.

The Energy Minister, who has been conducting the search-and-rescue operation since the explosion broke out in the mine on Tuesday.

He said that, during the disaster, the fire had spread to a 250-meter-long conveyor belt which increased the level of heat in the mine.

The exact cause of the blast has yet to be officially announced but it is suspected that an explosion and fire followed an electrical fault.

Yildiz earlier ruled out the possibility of firedamp or a methane gas explosion, saying the deaths were due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

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