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Mass funerals, mounting anger as Turkey mourns mine workers

Published on May 15, 2014 7:49 PM

SOMA (REUTERS) - Loudspeakers broadcast the names of the dead and excavators dug mass graves in this close-knit Turkish mining town on Thursday, while protesters gathered in major cities as grief turned to anger following the country's deadliest industrial disaster.

Rescuers were still trying to reach parts of the coal mine in Soma, 480km southwest of Istanbul, almost 48 hours after fire knocked out power and shut down the ventilation shafts and elevators, trapping hundreds underground.

At least 282 people have been confirmed dead, mostly from carbon monoxide poisoning, and hopes are fading of pulling out any more alive of the 100 or so still thought to be inside.

Anger has swept a country that has boasted a decade of rapid economic growth under Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist-rooted government but which still suffers from one of the world's worst workplace safety standards.

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