Added time: 16 May 2014, Friday 16:37
The number of the miners confirmed dead in the disaster has reached 282.
While prime minister said 120 miners are guessed to be remaining trapped underground, witnesses insist reports are not reflecting the magnitude of the tragedy taking place in Soma.
The Health and Social Service Workers' Union (SES) has issued a statement , saying the true figure of dead is closer to 350.
Emergency teams continue their efforts to rescue workers in the mine, but hopes have diminished for the safety of hundreds who still remain trapped in the mine.
Some of the trapped miners working near the upper gallery have been saved, while the rest of them are largely presumed dead by now. Estimated 700-1000 miners were inside at the time of the explosion.
The AKP government tried to minimize the figures for a number of hours by declaring that only five were killed in the explosion. However, toward midnight, a widespread news blockage by the mainstream media broke down.
Energy Minister Taner Yıldız, who initially said the "death toll figures are not important," was forced to declare the real number of killed mine workers.
In several examples, the bodies of the dead workers were taken to hospital with oxygen masks attached to their faces in order to misguide the thousands of miners' family members waiting for hours in front of the hospitals. In Soma, which has a population of 100,000, each family has now been affected by the accident by either losing a relative or a neighbour. Most of the workers were reportedly killed by carbon monoxide poisoning because the fire started in the ventilation area.
In the meantime, AKP government has deployed thousands of military troops and police forces to the town and the miners' village of Eynes to head off possible unrest.
Despite the intense security measures imposed in the town Erdogan has been protested during his short visit to the district in Wednesday afternoon.
Some 4 thousands security guards have been put in charge for the security of the PM who described the deadly explosion as an 'ordinary accident', going on to defend that "There is something called occupational accident in the literature". He compared the mining accident death statistics to 1900s Europe in a press conference he held in the municipality building of Soma.
He faced more protests after his press conference and was even forced to seek refuge in a supermarket by his bodyguards until the situation cooled down. Part of the crowd chanted and called on Erdoğan to step down as he was entering the supermarket.
The protests in Soma continued the whole evening as the grief turned into anger over governments irresponsible attitude in the massacre. The relatives of the trapped miners, complaining about the lack of information and their being misguided by the authorities, have also protested the brutal police attack and the intense security measures imposed in the town as well as the detention of 8 relatives of miners.