Death Toll Reaches 282 in Turkish Mining Disaster

140+ miners still trapped inside as protesters clash with riot police.
9:10 | 05/15/14

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Transcript for Death Toll Reaches 282 in Turkish Mining Disaster
Cries of agony families of the miners killed in the deadly explosion in Turkey. Bury the dead today. And now the anguish turns to anger against the government and its response. Right now the international hot spots on the Turkey hello everyone I'm Michelle Franzen in New York. The worst ever mining disaster in Turkey's history the death told there now. 282. And rising. Mass graves being dug in the town cemetery. Families who has the bodies of their loved one's -- dead. Families whose loved ones are still trapped inside. Wondering and waiting for word ABC's Alex Marquardt is there in Selma and witnessed the grief at the grave sites and filed this report. This this almost main cemetery where many of the miners who died in -- mining disaster will be buried many of them today. All morning we've seen these graves being dug. Here you can see. The outlines of more graves to be Doug later today. And as quickly as they're being dug their being filled. We've seen in nonstop stream of coffins coming into this cemetery. Well all day for burial fathers and sons carried their uncles and Brothers on their shoulders. The bodies are lowered slowly. Into the holes and then for about ten minutes the entire crowd goes quiet for the funeral service -- only audible sounds. -- the prayers from the the whales from the family. Many of these mothers and fathers are absolutely inconsolable. Their relatives trying to give them some measure of comfort as this small community tries to come to terms. -- this immense tragedy. Alex Marquardt ABC news. So -- Turkey. And Alex is joining us on the phone right now for the latest Alex give us an idea some 140. Miners. Are still trapped inside what is the hope -- that anyone else found alive has anyone been pulled out alive so far. Oh -- certainly are treating custody secret. Of those 140 miners sourced -- On the dole out some hope but -- energy minister. Repeatedly that hopes. A really are -- pulled out -- -- alive. For over 36 hours. So at some point there -- going to have to admit that this debate -- search and rescue operation becomes. Simply recovery operation. And that that apple will release by climbing from. Some 282. To well over 400. And Alex what are the challenges what are the dangers of recovering these bodies why. Our rescuers taking so long give us an idea of what's going on underground for those challenges. What -- -- this accident happened more than 48 hours ago when there was electrical failure that. Prompted an explosion followed by fire -- fire has been raging. For for today's -- be being an explosion and fire contributed carbon monoxide poisoning. That killed more than 200 miners immediately. And then and then -- more than eighty that has since followed him and so that has been the real. Obstacle. For these rescuers they had -- -- get down. Just -- -- they would like to into the mind many of the men. Were around 14100 feet below ground so the fire combined with a carbon monoxide has prevented -- many rescuers from getting you should -- minor -- below. And -- got -- itself those recovery and rescue efforts at the time and also those families grieving he's seen those and images. Are they still blaming the government for this disaster is that waning at all. While it is -- -- -- in in your introduction that a lot of big read is now turning to anger we have seen a protest over the course. Of the past few days many of the victims' families and later. The government for not having for inspecting reminds enough for not being structure in place to make sure that their state. There were forced labor union that 124 hour strike -- -- blaming the government for not. Having enough of an inspection culture in place to make sure that those. Miners are -- so yes there is a lot of blame. For the government prime minister Eric one came out and said that the might have been expected. Eight times over the past four years the mining company in charge of the mind that it -- inspect it. As early as lately as January. But but many -- the miners are now coming out. I'd just say they don't mind that take place those inspections that it is really sort of nominal cursory inspections don't really. Any sort of -- don't really guarantee his safety of the hundred -- or working below ground. -- -- some of these -- union workers also clashing with the government and what's been the government's response. Over the course the past -- is -- mounting anger. Violent protests erupting. -- -- three biggest cities that Turkey is stumble on corrupt and then just today is -- which is the third biggest idiot right here. Where I am in -- -- this mine. He's -- protesters clashing with police used. Well water cannon. And tear gas to drive them back so there really do many are seizing on this opportunity. To -- on this this disaster as a -- expressed their anger against the government. -- that there has been a lot of protest against this one government over the course the past. A year really last summer we saw the protest center on jetty park and square just as recently as May Day on May first we saw. Protesters out again against the -- -- government. And again we saw heavy handed response as we've been seeing that the pastor days. Then there's been a lot of criticism about the prime minister's response -- and how he responded indicating that mining accidents. Are somewhat routine and compare it to England in the eighteen hundreds of the response to that disaster. Seem to have triggered many of these. -- angry feelings right. -- he actually reported that history. I'm going at our back dimensions do England in the 800. The US in 1907 according to what's -- then. As evidence that these things happening and that would really to quote -- -- angered a lot of people is that these things happen comet. That coast don't would be unturned in this investigation. But he came off as completely detached as as how it is -- And that has really ignited -- lately help fuel. The anger that we've seen. Over the past few days there's this sentiment that he doesn't care or the men and their families who who have died in attacks. Alex I want to ask you about a photo that's also been circulating the one of the prime minister's top advisors. Kicking up protesters give us an idea about this photo and what it is ignited. Well it is that she advisors name is -- your show here -- young senior aide to minister longest this. Photo came out today it took place. Here in so -- the accident happened to -- the prime minister came yesterday you were welcomed with -- A lot of anger that we've been talking about circuit. And -- reportedly what happened it was the man who he's kicking. -- to one of the cars in the prime minister's convoy. And it's -- your goal off. -- who would then -- you see clearly -- picture launch terror launched. Really launch an attack tried to him repeatedly more pictures have come out there has been showing. How aggressive it. And it -- attack assault this was. Spierkel has not denied that he -- -- earlier this morning to BBC Turkish. That this was indeed him in the pictures. And there's a report later this afternoon -- -- here. You lost his temper so. It's it's not to say that this is an isolated incident but this certainly an example of of an eight flying off the danger of losing his temper as he said in an -- for immediate poet W aired on government that's certainly. It's certainly emblematic of -- -- and it tactics that they use to down on opposition. And Alex back live -- the mining scene where all that recovery work is taking place give us an idea of the urgency today. While it's it's really it's a race against time and -- beat the number of bodies that they're pulling out has slowed down. And really it's it's it's hoping against hope in the case of the families and the friends. But that more people will be found alive but. 36 hours on now -- about last. Person was pulled out alive. They're really is a very very. Slim chance of anyone being found alive and and really at some point this will turn injury a recovery operation and the government will have to admit that -- of -- ABC's Alex Mark Clark in Selma Turkey thank you for joining us. And you can keep up with this story in real time by downloading the ABC news -- And -- the story for exclusive updates on the go you've been watching international hot spot for now I'm Michelle Franzen in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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