Turkish mine toll nears 300 as fire halts recovery bid

Demonstrators light candles in memory of the mine victims during a sit-in protest in Istanbul.
Demonstrators light candles in memory of the mine victims during a sit-in protest in Istanbul. Credit: Reuters

A fire broke out on Saturday in part of a mine where nearly 300 miners were killed in Turkey's worst ever industrial disaster, hindering efforts to find up to three remaining workers believed to be still underground, the country's energy minister has said.

Taner Yildiz told reporters the bodies of 15 miners were retrieved overnight, bringing the death to 299, and as many as three workers were still in the mine.

They were unlikely to be alive, four days after an initial fire sent deadly carbon monoxide coursing through the mine.

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Turkey: 'Mining execs detained' after disaster kills hundreds

Turkish police have detained 19 people, including mining company executives, as part of an investigation into the Soma mining disaster, Reuters have reported citing Turkish media.