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Mine Explosion, Fire In Turkey Kill Hundreds

Turkish officials say as many as 201 miners died in the explosion, which happened during a shift change.
Posted at 11:28 PM, May 13, 2014

As many as 201 miners have been reported dead after a mining accident in Turkey on Tuesday. It's being called one of the deadliest in the country's history. 

Sky News reports the accident happened when a power distribution unit exploded during a change of shifts, which lead to confusion over how many workers were still trapped inside. 

"A fire followed an explosion at the mine in the town of Soma in Western Turkey." 

 

Numbers vary, but the BBC reports nearly 800 were trapped underground when the explosion happened and nearly 200 have been rescued so far. 

Though hundreds have reportedly been rescued, CNN explains why continuing the rescue effort will be a difficult process. 

"It started because of a fire and where there's fire, you're going to have to pump oxygen to keep these people alive. But if you're pumping oxygen, are you going to cause fresh explosions?"

The Hurriyet Daily News says mining accidents aren't uncommon in Turkey. "Unions have long criticized the government for failing to supervise mining activities, particularly with regard to subcontracting firms that are accused of employing workers with little training."

Hundreds of rescue workers are reportedly still on the scene searching for survivors, but the death toll is expected to continue rising.