At least 205 miners have been killed and hundreds more remain trapped underground after the explosion and fire in the coalmine in the western Turkish province of Manisa, according to the country’s energy minister.
The survivor blames unsafe work practices at the site for the deaths.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cancelled other commitments to travel to the site of the disaster.
The blast is thought to have been caused by an electrical fault which then triggered a power cut making the lifts unusable and leaving miners stranded some two kilometres underground.
There are calls on social media for protests in front of the Istanbul headquarters of the company operating the mine.
Rescue workers immediately pumped oxygen down the mine to keep those trapped by the blaze alive .. however the operation to reach survivers was briefly stopped after a second fire in the ventilation system.
Nearly 800 workers had been in the mine in Soma, which lies around 120 kilometres north east of the coastal city of Izmir.
Anxious relatives rushed to the pit head, with all those who could trying to help.