Anger, grief swell in Turkey after 274 coal miners die

Published: .
Updated: .

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 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.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)