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Turkey: death toll in Soma mining tragedy expected to top 300

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Turkey: death toll in Soma mining tragedy expected to top 300

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The final death toll in Turkey’s coal mine disaster is expected to be 302, the government announced on Friday.

The rescue operation is continuing with 18 people still unaccounted for. Hopes of finding them alive are fading.

30-year old Murat Yokus was one of the lucky ones, pulled out alive after being trapped underground for four hours.

He says he’ll never step foot inside a mine again: “I will do my best not to enter a coal mine ever again. If the government helps, provides opportunities for decent work then it might change but I won’t enter underground ever again and make my living from that.”

In the small mining town of Soma in western Turkey mass funerals have been held. Hundreds of mourners and grieving families paid their last respects to those who died in Turkey’s worst ever mining tragedy.