Turkey mine disaster: grief turns to rage as hopes of finding survivors fade

PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is met by shouts of ‘murderer’ and ‘thief’ on visit to mine, whose owners are linked to ruling party

 

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Turkey is convulsed with grief and swelling anger after an explosion in a coalmine in the west of the country left at least 282 people dead, though there are fears that the bodies of scores more need to be recovered.

The accident at Soma, in the western province of Manisa, north of Izmir, is the worst modern mining disaster in a country already notorious for its poor labour safety record. A gas explosion in 1992 near the Black Sea port of Zonguldak killed 263 workers.

Rescue teams found eight more bodies overnight, a government minister said. Survivors told Turkish media there were still countless corpses in the galleries, while local opposition MPs spoke of more than 350 dead.

Unions have called for a national strike on Thursday in response.

The prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, cancelled other engagements and went to the scene of the disaster, pledging a full investigation of the causes of the accident. But he was confronted by angry people who mobbed and kicked his car, shouting “murderer!” and “thief!”.

By  in Izmir,  and agencies 

The Guardian, Thursday 15 May 2014

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