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At least 20 dead in collapsed coal mine in Turkey: lawmaker

Published on May 14, 2014 12:04 AM

ISTANBUL (AFP) - At least 20 miners were feared dead and up to 400 others trapped after a coal mine collapsed in the western Turkish province of Manisa on Tuesday, a lawmaker said.  

“Twenty workers were killed and around 30 were wounded in the accident. They died of choking and burns,” Muzaffer Yurttas, a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), told local TV station NTV.  

Fire officials were desperately trying to pump clean air into the mine shaft for those who remain trapped some two kilometres below the surface and four kilometres from the entrance.  

The mine collapse in Soma district was caused by an explosion following an electric fault, a regional governor told NTV.  Local media said there were 580 people trapped in the mine at the time of the explosion but many had managed to escape.  

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