Turkey's energy minister: 18 workers still trapped

Rescue teams are now trying to save 17-18 workers who are still trapped underground in the Soma mine, Turkey’s Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Friday

Rescue teams are now trying to save 17-18 workers who are still trapped underground in the Soma mine, Turkey’s Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Friday

MANISA – Rescue teams are now trying to save 17-18 workers who are still trapped underground in the Soma mine, Turkey’s Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Friday, dismissing claims that hundreds of miners remain trapped.

The coal mine disaster in Soma, western Turkey has left 284 people dead so far.

Yildiz said a fire in the mine that was disrupting rescue missions has now been significantly extinguished enabling rescue teams to conduct their efforts inside.

Earlier on Friday, Yildiz stated that 530 people were participating in the rescue missions.

Tuesday’s Soma mine accident is the deadliest in Turkey’s history, surpassing an explosion of firedamp, a flammable gas found in coalmines, that killed 263 miners in Zonguldak in 1992.

The cause of the disaster is yet to be determined, but it has been mooted that an electrical fault, which resulted in an explosion and fire, is responsible.

Turkey's energy minister has said that any negligence on the part of officials or the company managing the mine will be punished.

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