As it happened: Turkey mine disaster

Key points

  • More than 240 miners are killed in an explosion and a fire at a coal mine in Soma in western Turkey
  • Officials say a power unit blew up 2km (1.2 miles) underground, shutting down electricity supplies and ventilation systems
  • Around 120 people are still believed to be trapped
  • Energy Minister Taner Yildiz says fires are hampering rescue efforts and hopes of finding survivors are fading
  • The prime minister's office declares three days of national mourning
  • All times BST

Live text


  • Nina Lamparski 
  • Patrick Jackson 
  • Alison Daye 
  • John Harrison 
  • Jasmine Coleman 
  • Stephen Fottrell 

Last updated 14 May 2014


Welcome to our live coverage of the coal mine disaster in western Turkey.


More than 200 workers have been confirmed dead and some 80 people are injured after an explosion inside a mine in the town of Soma. Hundreds more are missing.


Miners wait outside a coal mine in Soma, western Turkey, early Wednesday 14 May 2014 Rescuers are desperately trying to reach those still trapped underground


Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said 787 people had been inside the privately-owned mine at Soma in Manisa province - around 120 km (75 miles) northeast of the Aegean coastal city of Izmir - when an electrical fault triggered the blast.


The disaster is likely to be the country's deadliest ever mining accident.


Mr Yildiz said carbon monoxide poisoning had claimed many lives and that oxygen was being pumped into the mine to help those still trapped. He added that hopes were fading that anyone else would be found alive.


TV footage in Turkey showed rescuers helping workers from the mine, their faces and hard-hats covered in soot and dust. Some were carried on stretchers to waiting ambulances.


Relatives of miners who were killed or injured in a mine explosion react as rescuers work in Soma in Turkey on 14 May 2014 Relatives have been gathering at the mine for news of their loved ones


The owners of the mine and and the country's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) are facing mounting criticism about the safety record at the mine. The hashtag #kazadegilcinayet, which translates as "murder not an accident" is trending on Twitter.


The BBC's Rengin Arslan, who is at the scene in Soma, says the mood among concerned families at the mine is one of concern rather than anger. She says bodies wrapped in blankets are still being brought out from underground.