Turkey mine rescue ends, death toll at 301: Minister

SOMA (AFP) - Turkey on Saturday announced the final death toll from this week's devastating coal blast as 301, after retrieving the bodies of the last two miners trapped underground.

"The rescue operation was carried out to completion. There are no miners left underground," Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told reporters in the western town of Soma, site of the country's worst ever industrial disaster.

Another 485 miners either escaped or have been rescued since the explosion struck on Tuesday.

The disaster has led to a surge of popular anger in Turkey, fuelled by accusations of negligence by mine operators and what many saw as a heartless response from the government.

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