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400 reported trapped underground in Turkish coal mine explosion

One report said 20 workers were killed.
By Ed Adamczyk   |   May 13, 2014 at 12:27 PM   |   Comments

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SOMA , Turkey, May 13 (UPI) -- A coal mine collapse has killed at least one worker in western Turkey, with up to 400 others trapped underground.

The collapse of the mine Tuesday in the town of Soma, in Manisa province, followed an electrical problem and then an explosion, a regional governor told the local television network NTV. There are varying reports of casualties.

"At least 20 workers were killed and 30 more were wounded in the accident. They died of choking and burns," said local political leader Muzaffer Yurttas. Other reports claimed only one person was confirmed dead thus far.

Initial reports said 580 people were in the mine but many escaped. The incident occurred two kilometers (6,500 feet) below the surface and trapped workers four kilometers (2.8 miles) from the exit.

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