MEMBERS of Westhoughton Town Council observed a minute's silence at a meeting in memory of the victims of the Soma mining disaster in Turkey.

After a rescue operation finished, the death toll for Turkey's worst-ever mining disaster stood at 301.

An explosion sent carbon dioxide into the mine's tunnels while 787 miners were underground.

Cllr David Chadwick extended his sympathies to those affected and asked the town clerk to write to the mayor of Soma and say the victims are in the prayers of the people of Westhoughton.

He was speaking at the annuall general meeting of Westhoughton Town Council on May 19.

The town's ancestors suffered a similar tragedy in 1910 when 344 men and boys died in the Pretoria Pit disaster.