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Turkish coal mine collapses

World Coal,

A coal mine in southern Turkey has been flooded with water, trapping 18 mine wormers underground.

The incident occurred at the Has Sekerler mine near the town of Ermenek in Karaman province. 

According to Governor Murat Koka, about 20 workers had managed to escape or were rescued from the mine.

The 18 miners were trapped after water, which had accumulated inside the mine, flooded a gallery where they were working.

Initial reports said the flooding had caused a cave in, but subsequent reports suggest the workers are trapped by the water.

Sahin Uyar, an official at the privately owned coal mine, said the miners were trapped about 300 m underground.  

"At the moment, 18 of our colleagues are trapped. We are working to pump water out from three sections of the mine," Uyar said, adding that so far rescue crews have had no contact with the trapped miners.

Uyar said the trapped workers’ chances of survival were slim, unless they had managed to reach a safety gallery.

Turkey's ministers for energy and transportation have headed to the scene to oversee the rescue operation.

Turkey’s emergency management agency, AFAD, said a broken pipe in the mine caused the flooding. The agency said it sent 225 people to join rescuers from neighbouring mines and regions.

In May, a fire inside a coal mine in the western town of Soma killed 301 miners in Turkey's worst mining disaster. The fire exposed poor safety standards and superficial government inspections in many of the country's mines.

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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