With so many of their loved ones dead, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was never going to receive a warm welcome in Soma.
There were boos and objects thrown at his car as it passed through the town on Wednesday.
The finger of blame is being pointed at the government for privatising Turkey’s mines in 2005 and ignoring repeated safety warnings.
Prime Minister Erdogan did little to endear himself to the families, telling them: “These type of accidents happen all the time in mines. These are ordinary events. You can look it up, there is such a thing known as a ‘work accident’.”
To prove his point, Erdogan then listed examples of other mining tragedies including one in England in 1862.
After his speech, the crowds could be heard calling for his resignation. At one point after he left, the prime minister had to hide in a supermarket to escape the crowd’s anger.