More than 150 are confirmed dead in Turkey tonight after a transformer malfunction sparked a massive explosion in a coal mine. The unofficial death estimate was reported by Manisa — a town in Western Turkey –Mayor Cengiz Ergun.
In mining incidents, much of the fear is based on workers not being able to obtain clean air. The Energy Ministry estimated close to 800 people may have been inside the mine at the time of the explosion. Only about half of those had been accounted for shortly past midnight.
Mining disasters are common in Turkey. In 1992, almost 300 people were killed in a firedamp (flammable gas in coal mines) explosion. In 2008, a mine collapsed killing one worker. In 2010, 30 people died during another firedamp incident.
Mining deaths are common in countries were safety protocols are not followed as strict as in the United States.
For continuing coverage of the Turkish Mining Disaster, follow BBC News.