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Workers at a gold mine in Turkey are believed to be trapped underground

ISTANBUL — A landslide hit a gold mine in eastern Turkey on Tuesday, and several workers were believed to be trapped underground, officials said.

The landslide at the Copler mine happened at 2:30 p.m. local time (1130 GMT) near the town of Ilic in Turkey’s mountainous Erzincan province.

“There are people buried underground, the number is not clear. Our search and rescue efforts have started,” Gov. Hamza Aydogdu said.

Anagold Mining has operated the Copler mine since 2009.

In a statement, the company said its “most important priority in this difficult process … is the health and safety of our employees and contractors.”

“This is a painful situation. Immediately after the incident, we immediately contacted our employees in the region, put our emergency plan into action and informed the relevant public institutions and organizations,” the statement said.

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