The Israeli government on Wednesday offered to help Turkey cope with the coal mine disaster that killed more than 230 people. More than 100 miners continue to be trapped inside the mine as ongoing rescue efforts attempt to get them out.
“At times of tragedy we must all do what we can to help one another and we have offered Turkey whatever assistance you require at this time,” Israeli President Shimon Peres wrote in a letter to Turkish President Abdullah Gul, reported Haaretz.
The coal mine explosion may be the worst in Turkey’s history. More than 780 people were inside the coal mine in Soma (about 155 miles south of Istanbul) when it exploded Tuesday, reported USA Today. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan announced that the number of deaths had reached 238 on Wednesday, and that about 120 miners are still missing.
The Israeli Embassy in Ankara also canceled its belated Israel Independence Day ceremony, which had been scheduled for Wednesday, due to the disaster.
“The State and people of Israel share the grief of the Turkish people, pay condolences to the families of the deceased, wish speedy recovery for the wounded and hope for positive news from the ones still in the mine,” the Israeli embassy said in a statement.
Meanwhile, a Magen David Adom spokesman told the Jerusalem Post that the Israeli emergency services organization has also offered to help to Turkey.