At least 14 killed in mine blast in northern Türkiye

Ambulances and firefighters arrive at the site of an explosion that occurred at a coal mine in Bartin, northern Türkiye, on Oct 14 2022. (IHLAS NEWS AGENCY / AFP)

ANKARA – At least 14 workers were killed on Friday in an underground coal mine explosion in the northern Bartin province of Türkiye.

"So far, 21 of our brothers have been transferred to the hospital. Unfortunately, 14 of our brothers lost their lives," Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told reporters in the city of Bartin.

"An explosion occurred at the minus 300-meter elevation at 6:15 pm local time (1515 GMT) at the Amasra Hard Coal Enterprise," Bartin province said in a statement.

Bartin Governor Nurtac Arslan told reporters earlier in the day that rescue teams managed to pull out 14 miners, while at least 49 were still trapped.

The mine has intense methane gas, and they have a suspicion of a firedamp explosion, Mayor of Bartin's Amasra District Recai Cakir told reporters.

A miner is carried on a stretcher by rescuers after an explosion at a coal mine in Bartin, northern Türkiye, on Oct 14 2022. (NILAY MEYREM COMLEK / DEPO PHOTOS / AFP)

Total 149 searches and rescue personnel, with five National Medical Rescue Team vehicles, 31 ambulances, and one emergency response vehicle were dispatched to the scene, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted.

In 2014, as many as 301 people died in Türkiye's worst mine disaster in a fire inside a coal mine in Soma town of western Manisa province.