Posted: May 14, 2014 9:52 AM
Updated: May 14, 2014 5:36 PM
Source: Associated Press
SOMA, Turkey - High gas concentrations have brought rescue operations to a halt inside a coal mine in western Turkey following a deadly explosion and fire.
So far, the bodies of 274 miners have been recovered. The fate of another 150 remains unclear.
Teams are trying to vent carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide from the mine and pump clean air in.
Tuesday's disaster has generated anger and despair in the town of Soma, about 150 miles south of Istanbul. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH'-jehp TY'-ihp UR'-doh-wahn) traveled to the town to show concern today, but didn't help his reputation when he noted that workplace accidents are "ordinary things" that happen in many countries. He was heckled and forced to seek refuge in a supermarket, surrounded by police.
Anti-government protests also erupted in Istanbul and the capital, Ankara.