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Turkey mine death toll rises to 70

Turkey's disaster management agency has raised the death toll from a mining accident in the west of the country to 70.

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

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

Turkish energy minister Taner Yildiz said the situation was "worrisome" and rescue efforts would last until the morning.

Private NTV television said the accident occurred some one and a quarter miles deep inside the mine.

Mining accidents are common in Turkey, which is plagued by poor safety conditions.

Turkey's worst mining disaster was a 1992 gas explosion that killed 263 workers near the Black Sea port of Zonguldak.

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