- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Turkish police fired tear gas and water cannon at hundreds of protesters on Wednesday after a massive coal mine explosion killed more than 200 people and left scores of workers trapped underground.

Around 800 protesters marched from a university in Ankara to the energy ministry to protest against the government and Soma Holdings, the company that owns the coal mine that exploded in the western town of Soma.

An electrical fault at the coal mine the day before triggered a collapse, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party has been accused of dismissing a parliamentary motion submitted by the opposition Republican People’s Party to investigate safety in the Soma mines as recently as April, the International Business Times reported.


SEE ALSO: Coal mine explosion traps hundreds in Turkey


Protesters hurled stones at police on Wednesday and some 10-15 people lay on the floor of the Istanbul metro at Taksim station to represent the deaths at the mine, French news agency AFP reported.

Mr. Erdogan arrived at the site of the accident Wednesday, telling reporters that the death toll of the disaster had risen to 232 with at least a hundred more trapped.