Many dead in Turkish mine accident
Tragedy blamed on methane-gas explosion inside coal mine in the country's northwest.
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2010 12:42 GMT

Four survivors are in a critical condition [AFP]

Thirteen workers have been killed after a methane-gas explosion caused an underground chamber in a coal mine in northwestern Turkey to collapse.

Tuesday's blast, near the town of Dursunbey in Balikesir province, buried the miners 820ft below the surface, Erhan Ortakoylu, the mine's owner, said.

Omer Dincer, the country's labour minister, said that an initial death toll of 17 was inaccurate, clarifying that 13 workers were killed and 18 hospitalised.

Rescue work was called off after 29 workers were evacuated from the mine.

Four survivors were in critical condition, Dincer told journalists after visiting the hospital where the miners were treated.

Seventeen workers were killed in the same mine in a similar blast in June 2006, the Anatolia said. The mine is 20km from the centre of Dursunbey.

In December, a similar accident killed 19 miners in Bursa.

Safety violations and outdated equipment have been factors in past mine accidents in the country.

Associated Press
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.