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Turkey mine blast kills 205, hundreds more trapped

Published on May 14, 2014 4:26 PM
Rescuers carry a miner who sustained injuries after a mine explosion, to an ambulance in Soma, a district in Turkey's western province of Manisa, on May 14, 2014. -- PHOTO REUTERS

SOMA, Turkey (AFP) - Rescuers battled on Wednesday to reach hundreds of workers feared trapped after an explosion at a mine in western Turkey that has killed at least 205 people in one of the worst industrial disasters ever to hit the country.

As Turkey declared three days of national mourning for the victims, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said the toll could rise to exceed the 263 workers killed in the country's worst ever mining disaster.

"We are worried that human loss could increase," he told reporters.

"The problem is more serious than we thought. It is developing into an accident with the highest worker death toll Turkey has seen so far." Yildiz said 205 miners had been confirmed dead after Tuesday's blast at the mine at Soma, in Manisa province.

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