Madrid Desk, Oct 15 (EFE).- At least 28 people have died in an explosion at a coal mine in Bartin on Turkey’s Black Sea coast.
“The number of casualties due to the explosion in Bartin reached 28,” Turkish health minister Fahrettin Koca said Saturday.
“Everything necessary for the treatment of 11 patients, 6 in Istanbul and 5 in Bartin, is being done,” he added.
Emergency workers on Saturday were searching for more than a dozen miners who remain trapped underground, after a methane blast on Friday evening caused the mine to cave in.
About 110 miners working the 4pm to midnight shift were at the mine when the explosion occurred at 6:15 pm in a gallery or shaft more than 300 meters deep, where almost half the miners were located.
In a statement, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the country’s “judicial authorities will investigate this tragic incident, which hurt our lives and lungs, in all its dimensions, and will not leave even the slightest negligence unanswered.”
Erdogan said he would be traveling to Bartin on Saturday to oversee the search and rescue operation.