The explosion occurred at a depth of 300 meters below the entrance to the mine. According to Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, who traveled to the crash site, 110 people were working in the mine. Six people were reportedly taken to the capital, Istanbul, for treatment.
The Turkish Disaster Management Authority believes that the explosion was caused by a transformer. Energy Minister Fatih Donmez, who is also in the mining area near the Black Sea, said initial reports indicated that the explosion was the result of combustible gases present in the coal mine.
Turkish President Erdogan heads to the crash site today. He wrote on Twitter that he hoped to save the miners unharmed.
Images from Turkish TV show people being taken to ambulances as emergency services enter the mine. Energy Minister Fatih Donmez and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu visited the mining area near the Black Sea.
Accidents in mines are more common in Turkey, according to observers, due to poor safety regulations. In 2014, a large coal mine explosion in the Aegean province of Manisa killed a total of 301 people.
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