Officials: 22 dead, many trapped in Turkish coal mine blast

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Officials: 22 dead, many trapped in Turkish coal mine blast

The explosion occurred 6:45 p.m. at the state-owned TTK Amasra Muessese Mudurlugu mine in the town of Amasra, in the Black Sea coastal province of Bartin.

Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said a preliminary assessment indicated the explosion was likely caused by firedamp — a reference to flammable gases found in coal mines.

There were 110 people in the mine at the time of the explosion, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, who traveled to Amasra to coordinate the rescue operation, told reporters. Most of the workers were able to evacuate following the blast, but 49 were trapped in a higher risk area of the facility, the minister said.

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