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Turkish families bury miners as toll rises to 282

SOMA, Turkey (AP) - Families in Turkey have begun to bury some of the 282 miners whose bodies have been recovered following the country's worst-ever mining disaster. More than 140 others are still unaccounted for, according to government figures.

At a graveyard in the western town of Soma, where coal mining has been the main industry for decades, women wailed loudly as bodies were taken from coffins and lowered into graves.

Chanting the names of dead miners, some sang, "The love of my life is gone."

Many mourners said they had spent their lives fearing something like this.

The country's energy minister says the search for any survivors has been hampered by a fire that spread to a conveyor system, but that progress has been made in putting that fire out. No miner has been brought out alive since dawn yesterday from the coal mine where the explosion and fire took place.

The disaster has thrown off-stride the effort by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to be elected president. He appeared somewhat tone-deaf to the grief of residents yesterday, calling mining accidents "ordinary things" that occur in many other countries. And now, one of his aides has been seen kicking a protester who was held on the ground by police, at a protest during Erdogan's visit to the mining community.