Istanbul (Agencies): At least 40 people were killed several others were injured in a blast inside a coal-mine Turkey's northern Bartin province on Friday.
Confirming the toll, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Saturday that search and rescue operations were continuing for one missing miner.
The mine explosion appeared to have been caused due to ignition of gases and was said to be the worst in recent years.
According to international media, around 110 people were in the mine at the time of the blast on Friday, almost half of them at over 300 metres deep.
Soon after the incident, rescue personnel rushed to the mine area, Turkish disaster management agency told a publication. As per the initial reports, the cause of the blast remains unknown while the investigation is currently ongoing.
Television images showed anxious crowds — some with tears in their eyes — congregating around a damaged white building near the entrance to the pit in search of news for their friends and loved ones.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would cancel all his other arrangements and fly to the scene of the accident on Saturday.
"Our hope is that the loss of life will not increase further, that our miners will be found alive," Erdogan said in a tweet.
"All of our efforts are aimed in this direction."
Most initial information about those trapped inside was coming from workers who had managed to climb out relatively unharmed.
But Amasra mayor Recai Cakir said many of those who survived suffered "serious injuries".
The blast occurred moments before sunset and the rescue effort was being impeded by the dark.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also expressed grief on the loss of life and extended condolences to the bereaved families.
In his message on Twitter, the premier wrote "May those still trapped are rescued at the earliest."
I express our profound sadness at the loss of precious lives in an explosion at a coal mine in Turkey’s Bartin province. Our thoughts & prayers are with the bereaved families & the Turkish people. May those still trapped are rescued at the earliest.— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) October 15, 2022