Soma (Turkey): In a relentless procession that ignited wails of grief, rescue workers coated in grime lumbered out of a mine in western Turkey again and again today, struggling to carry stretchers laden with bodies covered in blankets.
The corpses' faces were as black as the coal they worked on daily. There were 274 of them - and the fate of up to 150 other miners remained unclear in Turkey's deadliest-ever mining disaster.
While emergency workers battled a toxic mix of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in deep underground tunnels to try to find survivors, anger and despair engulfed the town of Soma, where Turkish officials said at least 274 miners died in Tuesday's coal mine explosion and fire.
Tensions were high as hundreds of relatives and miners jostled outside the mine's entrance Wednesday, waiting for news. They were countered by a heavy police presence.
Rows of women wailed uncontrollably and men knelt sobbing or just stared in disbelief as rescue workers removed body after body. To let off steam, some heckled Turkish officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as they passed by.