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Erdogan under fire as Turkey mine disaster death toll reaches 274

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Erdogan under fire as Turkey mine disaster death toll reaches 274


The death toll in Turkey’s mining accident has risen to 274, making it the worst such disaster in the country’s history and prompting fury aimed at the prime minister.

Search teams are working through a second night although hopes have faded of finding survivors, despite more than 100 miners remaining unaccounted for.

All day, anxious relatives stayed at the pit head in Soma, some 480 km southwest of Istanbul. But bodies rather than injured men were increasingly brought to the surface.

Tuesday’s fire and explosion, apparently triggered by an electrical fault, cut off ventilation systems and electricity underground. This trapped the miners – 2 kilometres down, unable to get to the surface – with their lifts no longer working.

Carbon monoxide poisoning claimed many lives.

Having declared three days of national mourning, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the site and faced local anger first hand when his car was attacked by demonstrators.

Critics blame his government for privatising the country’s mines and ignoring repeated warnings about their safety.

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