Update 7:59 a.m. EDT: The death toll in the mine disaster has grown to 232 and hundreds more are still trapped underground, BBC reported Wednesday, adding that fires were hampering rescue efforts and reducing the chances of rescuing more people.

Update 3:05 a.m. EDT: The number of dead from a fire in a coal mine in Soma in western Turkey, has climbed to at least 205, CNN reported Wednesday, citing Taner Yildiz, Turkey's energy minister, adding that about 200 miners were trapped nearly two-thirds of a mile underground.

"Rescue operations will continue once smoke and CO2 levels are minimized," Yildiz told reporters, according to CNN, adding that hopes of finding survivors "are diminishing."

Update 11:15 p.m. EDT: The death roll is at least 201, authorities now say.

Update 9:25 p.m. EDT: The confirmed death toll is 166, with 80 miners injured and more than 200 still missing, China Central Television rerports. 

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz updated the death toll and number of missing after earlier saying 787 people were inside the coal mine at the time of the accident and 363 of of them had been rescued. He said 80 mine workers were injured, at least four of them in serious condition.

Update 7:22 p.m. EDT: At least 151 miners are now feared dead, Sky News reportsTurkey's energy minister said 787 workers were in the mine at the time of the explosion.

Hundreds are still trapped in shafts and tunnels up to 2.5 miles (4km) from the nearest exit following the blast at the mine in Soma. Fresh air is being pumped deep into the pit to help stranded workers who may be struggling to breathe, amid fears they could succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Update 3:19 p.m. EDT: Fifteen people are confirmed dead in the Turkish mine disaster, the Associated Press reported, citing Turkey’s disaster management center.

Original story:

A coal mine explosion in western Turkey has killed four workers and left approximately 300 trapped.

The four people "died of choking and burns," said local MP Muzaffer Yurttas.

It's estimated that 850 people were underground when the explosion occurred.

Energy Ministry Taner Yildiz is heading to Manisa to oversee the rescue operation where four teams are working on releasing the 300 workers trapped 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) below the surface.

"Various numbers can be reported. I don't want to give any numbers. We first have to reach our workers underground," Yildiz told journalists.

The chief of the mining trade union for Manisa told state news agency Anadolu that fresh air was being pumped into the mine to aid those still trapped.

The town of Soma lies 150 kilometers south of Istanbul.

Mining accidents are not uncommon in Turkey due to poor safety conditions for workers.

The worst industrial disaster in Turkish history was a 1992 gas explosion near the Black Sea port of Zonguldak that killed 270 workers.