Over 150 dead after Turkish coal mine explosion, fire

More than 150 miners were killed in a Turkish coal mine blast and hundreds more are still trapped.

According to Reuters, an explosion and fire in a coal mine in western Turkey killed at least 151 miners on Tuesday and the death toll is expected to rise.

The Associated Press reported that Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said that 787 people were inside the coal mine when the accident occurred and so far 363 of them have been rescued.

"Fresh air, oxygen is being pumped into the mine. This is the most important thing for our workers down there," Yildiz said. "We are facing carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide poisoning ... We have to get our friends out of there swiftly."

Families of those still trapped inside the mine have gathered nearby to pray and await word on their loved ones. Rescue operations are continuing at this hour.

The explosion happened more than a mile underground and authorities said an electrical fault triggered a power cut, making the mine cages unusable.

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