Death toll from Turkey mine blast soarsUpdated: 2014-05-14 19:50:27 KST
An explosion at a coal mine in western Turkey has left hundreds dead and scores injured, while emergency crews continue attempts to rescue those still trapped underground.
With more on that we turn to Paul Yi, standing by at the News Center.
Paul, the death toll from this tragic disaster has soared in just the last few hours, but do authorities know what triggered it in the first place?
The blast occurred early Tuesday, local time, at a privately-owned mine in the town of Soma, some 2-hundred-50 kilometers south of Istanbul.
Local officials believe the collapse and resulting fires came after a power unit exploded during a shift change.
The explosion also cut off the mine's electrical supplies, shutting down critical ventilation systems.
Latest reports show the confirmed number of deaths has reached 2-hundred-thirty-two, many due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Turkey's energy minister says nearly 800 people were inside the mine at the time of the accident.
And Paul, what about the ongoing rescue operation? Has there been any progress in finding the remaining workers inside the mine?
Some 93 people have reportedly been rescued so far with several in critical condition.
The country's disaster agency says they're attempting to dig out any survivors who remain trapped.
But rescuers are facing a difficult task, with fires still burning through the mine's long, deep tunnels.
They're also pumping oxygen into the mine, which sits about two kilometers below ground, as emergency crews race against time to help those still alive.
It's shaping up to be worst mining accident in Turkey since 1992, when 2-hundred-63 lives were lost in a gas explosion.
The prime minister's office, meanwhile, has declared three days of national mourning in light of the disaster. Back to you guys.
Alright Paul. Thanks for that update. We'll be right back.
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