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Turkish rescue workers pump out water, trying to save 18 workers trapped in flooded coal mine

  • Rescue workers use pipes to pump water out of the mine after underground waters flooded a section of the Has Sekerler mine in the town of Ermenek, some 500 kilometers (300 miles) south of Ankara, close to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, early Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. Surging water trapped at least 18 workers Tuesday in the coal mine, officials and reports said - an event likely to raise even more concerns about the nation's poor workplace safety standards. Initial reports said flooding inside the coal mine near caused a cave-in, but subsequent reports workers were trapped by the water. (AP Photo/Depo Photos)

    Rescue workers use pipes to pump water out of the mine after underground waters flooded a section of the Has Sekerler mine in the town of Ermenek, some 500 kilometers (300 miles) south of Ankara, close to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, early Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. Surging water trapped at least 18 workers Tuesday in the coal mine, officials and reports said - an event likely to raise even more concerns about the nation's poor workplace safety standards. Initial reports said flooding inside the coal mine near caused a cave-in, but subsequent reports workers were trapped by the water. (AP Photo/Depo Photos)  (The Associated Press)

  • Family members of miners wait as rescue workers use pipes to pump water out of the mine after underground waters flooded a section of the Has Sekerler mine in the town of Ermenek, some 500 kilometers (300 miles) south of Ankara, close to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, early Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. Surging water trapped at least 18 workers Tuesday in the coal mine, officials and reports said - an event likely to raise even more concerns about the nation's poor workplace safety standards. Initial reports said flooding inside the coal mine near caused a cave-in, but subsequent reports workers were trapped by the water. (AP Photo/Depo Photos)

    Family members of miners wait as rescue workers use pipes to pump water out of the mine after underground waters flooded a section of the Has Sekerler mine in the town of Ermenek, some 500 kilometers (300 miles) south of Ankara, close to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, early Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. Surging water trapped at least 18 workers Tuesday in the coal mine, officials and reports said - an event likely to raise even more concerns about the nation's poor workplace safety standards. Initial reports said flooding inside the coal mine near caused a cave-in, but subsequent reports workers were trapped by the water. (AP Photo/Depo Photos)  (The Associated Press)

  • Rescue workers use pipes to pump water out of the mine after underground waters flooded a section of the Has Sekerler mine in the town of Ermenek, some 500 kilometers (300 miles) south of Ankara, close to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, early Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. Surging water trapped at least 18 workers Tuesday in the coal mine, officials and reports said - an event likely to raise even more concerns about the nation's poor workplace safety standards. Initial reports said flooding inside the coal mine near caused a cave-in, but subsequent reports workers were trapped by the water. (AP Photo/Depo Photos)

    Rescue workers use pipes to pump water out of the mine after underground waters flooded a section of the Has Sekerler mine in the town of Ermenek, some 500 kilometers (300 miles) south of Ankara, close to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, early Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. Surging water trapped at least 18 workers Tuesday in the coal mine, officials and reports said - an event likely to raise even more concerns about the nation's poor workplace safety standards. Initial reports said flooding inside the coal mine near caused a cave-in, but subsequent reports workers were trapped by the water. (AP Photo/Depo Photos)  (The Associated Press)

Rescue workers have been pumping water out of a coal mine in southern Turkey all night as relatives wait anxiously nearby after surging waters trapped 18 Turkish miners deep underground.

Turkish news agencies say Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan cancelled a national holiday reception and was to visit the town of Ermenek in Karaman province where the mine is located later Wednesday.

Turkish officials say the workers' chances of survival are slim unless they managed to reach a safety gallery but about 20 miners did escape Tuesday. Rescue workers were using huge pipes to pump water from 350 meters (380 yards) underground.

Turkey's emergency agency says a broken pipe in the mine caused the flooding but did not elaborate. The incident has renewed questions about Turkey's poor workplace safety.