At least 157 dead in collapsed coal mine in Turkey

Workers and relatives arrive after an explosion and fire at a coal mine in Soma, in western Turkey, Tuesday, May 13, 2014.  (Photo credit: AP/IHA)

Workers and relatives arrive after an explosion and fire at a coal mine in Soma, in western Turkey, Tuesday, May 13, 2014. (Photo credit: AP/IHA)

Up to 300 workers may be trapped; fire was caused by an electrical fault, officials say

(SOURCE)  At least 157 miners have been killed and hundreds remain trapped underground after an explosion and fire in a coal mine in the western Turkish province of Manisa on Tuesday, the mayor said.

“According to unofficial data, the death toll has reached 157 and 75 injured,” Manisa mayor Cengiz Ergun told CNN Turk television. Official disaster response unit AFAD earlier put the death toll at 17.

 Authorities say the disaster followed an explosion and fire caused by a power distribution center.

A government official told The Associated Press that the death toll was expected to rise further.

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said the situation was “worrisome” and rescue efforts would last until the morning.

It was not immediately clear how many more miners were still trapped in the coal mine in the town of Soma, some 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of Istanbul.

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