Turkish Labor Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu said on Friday four miners were killed when a landslide caused a collapse at a copper mine in southeast Turkey, Anadolu Agency reported.
“Bodies of four of the 16 workers who were trapped underground after a landslide… have been recovered,”
he said during a meeting in the western province of Balikesir.
The minister said rescue teams were working to reach 12 miners trapped underground after heavy rainfall led to the disaster at the Madenkoy copper mine in Sirvan, Siirt province.
In a statement, the Siirt governor’s office said search and rescue teams from nearby cities had been asked to join the search.
The private operator, Park Elektrik, had said in a statement that there was a risk of further landslides and production had been “interrupted”.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has been informed about the accident and is receiving updates.
A crisis management center has been established by the governor’s office and an investigation has been launched.
According to Park Elektrik’s website, the company, which is a member of the Ciner Group, has operated the mine since 2006. An estimated 41.5 million tonnes of copper ore are at the site.