240 Killed in Turkey Coal Mine Disaster

Dozens of miners still trapped inside as Prime Minister's comments cause outrage.
9:11 | 05/14/14

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Transcript for 240 Killed in Turkey Coal Mine Disaster
Trapped underground rescuers in -- scrambling to bring out dozens of miners still stuck inside. As the death told now reaches more than 240. Right now the international hot spots -- Turkey. Hello everyone I'm Michelle -- here in New York nearly 800 miners were inside when an explosion and fire. Cause that mine to collapse. In a coal mine in the town of Selma about 300 miles from Istanbul in western Turkey. Rescuers looking for survivors in a burning complex of tunnels. Right now you're looking at a live picture from outside the coal mine. Families gathering there -- waiting on word about their loved ones more than a hundred still trapped inside their fate unknown. The prime minister has declared three days of national mourning but has come under criticism for his statements about the disaster. It's been more than 24 hours since the blast and rescue teams are not sure how many more miners could have survived. The BBC's Mike -- ridge has the report. A rescue workers -- no money from the minds of the cheers and -- pools of home. It's the most those hopes were fading for the for the schools still trapped in the mine on the morning after the explosion and emotions. -- -- high as they did throughout the night's one emergency operations continued and ambulances carried away a rising number of bookings. Officials said many of the -- fell victim to compliment. Points. The accident occurred while the miners were preparing for shift change. Meaning there was a particular -- number in my mind. -- -- and eighteen cent according to the authorities don't -- the Turkish government has declared three days of national -- -- on the -- make all wish mercy upon our Brothers who lost their lives and I hope all wounded Brothers will get well soon. You know because -- The energy minister visited the scene as rescue workers continued to pump oxygen into the -- in the hope of keeping track minds -- minds. The mine owners -- the accident happened despite what they call the highest safety measures. The minister Wilson said the government would not turn a blind diet here and -- -- was revealed. These cctv pictures showing rescue is moving -- to ground the air thick with smoke and -- As the Wisconsin the gravity of the tragedy becomes have a clearer the distress of relatives can -- keeping. Paramilitary police guarding the entrance to the mine to -- rescue efforts to continue pun intended. And teams of psychiatrists have been organized to console the families of the victims. Workers rescues and relatives we -- a family here on the minus -- Mike wooldridge BBC news. Seven -- -- just made from Turkish daily newspaper today's -- joins us for the latest. And this happened during a shift change write the original number of those trapped was in the high seven hundreds -- that's still the case. 600 isn't told not year old -- Employment. Line. I -- does -- recent information. And his colleagues aren't alone there are all important. There. 120 -- -- or -- that. In editions. And. -- -- -- We've also gotten word that rescuers worst pumping oxygen into the mind trying to get some clean -- in there to we have word if they're still doing that. I'm not sure -- I progress. There then it's limo because all the want to run. The -- And another hoaxes accelerates the fire. Lines -- the number that they. And has the government or the mining company said at all what could have possibly caused this mine to collapse what -- the preliminary reports. Unfortunately that's -- don't trust. Important call. The government or mining company -- far -- say explaining the reason I'll hold it -- blessed unfortunately so there is. Can be -- it makes information -- political. Information regarding my -- Prime minister -- on visited the site today but his response has been criticized for what he is that it seems he indicated. That mining accidents are routine and compared it to England and eighteen hundreds is that what -- -- -- these protests. Well you are people are outraged at right is there goes Equant banner. The mining accidents. That that took place -- it's time to regularly in all countries. The not answer the incident to the disaster that took place this. Sort of -- -- -- And these cartoons on -- at all well. We're. -- you. Aren't it's comparing eased. Not today -- Up to the conditions 1819 cents or. So people are people and yeah its -- is that analysts and media the prime minister and even law and you know or -- that. Such a comparison. And demonstrators and riot police clashed in Selma and also an Istanbul. Some of the protesters relatives of the victims were jailed what's been the response to that. Expired I don't look -- I -- up. Eight people that it looked at. A -- -- -- -- saying by the Sunday at the that they don't like this against apartments that day in the alone. And it is customers own it stumbled again that -- was closed again. Again the possible demonstration against. -- -- And it also seems that mining disasters are not new to Turkey. It ranks third in the third worst in workplace security why do you think that is and what sort of security measures. Have they taken over the years for -- The threat is that could take it that it lists 28 days ago -- -- -- departed. From party. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Well. It doesn't the place is Saturday. Unfortunately. It was all out we'd be opposition calls are already -- party. So yeah according parties and others are under attack. Or are turning such a proposal. Investigation. And his age and name -- -- It -- more so in other. Staple is that is that leg all proper save the major. Makers are probably. And well. Arnold and isn't. -- are so many of late -- It each and every year. It is -- dollar -- Thursday. Art -- -- then all of it in Europe and did not sign. -- -- -- international labor organization. So there are. Problems got it. And with that sad with this magna with a magnitude of this disaster of the investigation moves forward. And the response could it hurt Turkey's chances to get into the European Union. Why people -- applied to us the -- Negotiations. Either union trailer -- Even you know being their problems. Out Bryant Gumbel -- Couple weeks ago but I don't prison was theater. And you made critical lens the government's critical contract regarding. -- -- -- And on our street regulation -- example -- strong -- And Kong Seoul the EU relations EP EUR Otis Spain and its full audit or does that. The reasons. -- a car just may from the Turkish daily newspapers thank you for joining us. You can keep up of course with the story in real time by downloading the ABC news happens -- this story for exclusive updates on the go. You have been watching international hot spot for now I'm Michelle Franzen in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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