section européenne Lycée VINCI à AMBOISE

section européenne Lycée VINCI à AMBOISE

Turkey mine disaster: protests break out after Erdogan speech – live ( MAY 13th )

The official death toll in the Soma mine disaster in western Turkey climbed steadily on Wednesday and currently stands at at least 274 killed, making the disaster the deadliest mining accident in the country's history.

An unknown number of miners remained trapped underground Wednesday evening, 36 hours after the accident. Hundreds of miners were reportedly saved. Officials initially blamed an electrical fire but later said an unused coal seam heated up and released fatal levels of carbon monoxide in the mine.

Anti-government protests broke out across the country following a speech by prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Soma in which he downplayed the seriousness of the tragedy, comparing it to 100-year-old mining disasters in the West and saying "these things happen."

Protesters booed and taunted Erdogan on his trip to Soma, and trashed the local offices of his AKP party. Protesters also gathered in Istanbul around the offices of Soma Holdings, the private company that owns the mines. Police dispersed protesters with tear gas and water cannon.

The protesters blamed regulatory neglect and a disregard for workers' well-being for the accident. The government insisted the mine had been regularly inspected. The International Labor Organization ranked Turkey third worst in the world for worker deaths in 2012.

Rescuers continued to pump oxygen into the mine Wednesday night, and bodies continued to be removed.

A close adviser of Erdogan who traveled with him to Soma was photographed apparently kicking a protester being restrained by two soldiers.

The Turkish government figure for those killed in the mine disaster has climbed from "more than 200" to "at least 274" over the course of the day. The number does not appear to be done moving.

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