Hopes fade for trapped Turkish miners

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The Independent Online

An engineer said hopes were fading today for 30 trapped Turkish miners as rescuers struggled to reach them after a methane gas explosion hit a coal mine in northern Turkey.

Chief Engineer Husnu Unal said rescuers pumped air into the mine to try to dispel the gas overnight and began digging through a collapsed chamber to reach the miners, who were buried nearly 1,770ft below the surface.

However, Mr Unal said "their chance of staying alive is fading".

Rescue workers evacuated 11 miners after yesterday's explosion, including two overnight.

Mr Unal said the explosion might have been triggered by the use of dynamite during digging in the mine. It was the third mine accident in Turkey in the past sixth months.