Explosion at Turkish coal mine traps 32 workers

Explosion at Turkish coal mine traps 32 workers
# 17 May 2010 21:55 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. An explosion ripped through a major coal mine in northern Turkey on Monday, trapping 32 workers underground, authorities said, APA reports quoting “Associated Press”.
The blast took place at the Karadon mine near the Black Sea port of Zonguldak. There was no immediate word on its cause. It was the third mine accident in Turkey in the past six months.
Gov. Erdal Ata of Zonguldak province said 32 workers were stuck 1,770 feet (540 meters) below ground and there had been no contact with them since the blast.
"We are trying to reach them," Labor Minister Omer Dincer said.
Engineer Husnu Unal said eight other workers who had been underground were rescued. Some of them suffered from smoke inhalation and were taken to local hospitals, authorities said.
Anxious relatives of the workers waited for news alongside dozens of ambulances at the mine entrance, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.
Safety violations and outdated equipment have been factors in past mine accidents in Turkey.
In February, a methane gas explosion collapsed an underground chamber in a coal mine in northwestern Balikesir province, killing 13 workers. In December, a similar accident killed 19 miners in neighboring Bursa province.
In Turkey’s worst mining disaster, a gas explosion killed 270 workers near Zonguldak in 1992.