201 dead, many trapped in Turkish coal mine

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 13, 2014 at 9:37 pm •  Published: May 13, 2014
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SOMA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's energy minister says the death toll from an explosion and fire at a coal mine in western Turkey is now 201.

Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said 80 mine workers were injured and at least four of them are in serious condition.

The accident in the mine in the town of Soma some 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of Istanbul is one of the worst mining disasters in Turkish history.

Rescuers were struggling early Wednesday to reach more than 200 miners still trapped inside the coal mine. More than 360 workers have been evacuated so far.

Yildiz says the rescue effort is "reaching a critical stage" with the death toll likely to rise as time passes.

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Fraser reported from Ankara, Turkey.