Fire in Turkey Mine Kills 232

While crowds of people walked around with their eyes downcast outside a western Turkey coal mine Wednesday, a miner ended the hopes of many that his fellow co-workers still inside the mine would be saved.

In all 200 miners are trapped inside a shaft that is about 1 kilometer (2/3 of a Mile) long and underground, said officials from the disaster unit in Turkey.

However, many of the miners are still missing so the number trapped could increase tremendously.

The miner along with some of his friends crawled to safety from the burning mine in Soma. He choked up when talking about no other miners having the luck he did in escaping.

The fire started after the explosion of a transformer and continued to burn preventing any rescue efforts from reaching the miners that were trapped.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan the Prime Minister of Turkey said the number of dead has reached 232.

Smoke continued to rise from different openings in the ground near the mine the day after the incident started.

One rescue official said that once the CO2 and smoke levels subsided the rescue would continue.

However, early Wednesday emergency personnel hauled up a number of survivors. Of the survivors, all by eight had been injured.

The progress was stopped due to smoke and CO2, but the total rescued had reach 93.

The hopes of officials however are diminishing. Thus far 72 autopsies have been performed. The injured as well as dead have suffered from suffocation and burns, said one of the country’s parliament members from the region.

Police arrived in Soma in droves. The town has just 100,000 people. People grouped in front of the hospital as ambulances could be seen arriving, unloading the injured and rushing back to the scene.

Authorities said over 500 security personnel had been deployed near the mine. There are also a large number of rescuers, forensic experts, medics, social workers and psychologists.

This disaster could go down as the worst mining disaster Turkey has ever had.

The explosion and subsequent fire occurred while a shift change was taking place, when mine officials believe 787 miners were underground working. Thus far, just 363 of those estimated 787 are accounted for.

Rescuers are pumping fresh air into the shafts that have not been engulfed in flames in an attempt to preserve lives deep in the ground.

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