SAVASTEPE, Turkey — A survivor of Turkey’s worst mining disaster that killed at least 292 people accused mining company officials of negligence, saying Friday that outdated oxygen masks were handed out after the explosion and inspections weren’t thorough enough.

Erdal Bicak, 24, said he had just ended his shift Tuesday and had started to go up to the surface when mine managers ordered him back down because there was a problem.

“The company is guilty,” Bicak said, saying managers had machines that measure methane gas levels. “The new gas levels had gotten too high and they didn’t tell us in time.”

His accusations came as Turkish government and mining company officials vehemently denied that negligence was at the root of the country’s worst mining disaster even as opposition lawmakers raised questions about possible lax oversight.

Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said at least 292 people died in the tragedy in the western town of Soma. Another nine or 10 people are believed to be missing underground while 485 miners escaped or were rescued from the inferno.

Protesting workers have described the Soma disaster as murder, not an accident, because of what they call flawed safety conditions at that mine and others in the country. Police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse rock-throwing protesters in Soma, where demonstrators urged Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government to resign.

The government has asked for a parliamentary inquiry into the disaster to find out what happened and why — but it appeared that officials had already made up their minds Friday.

“There’s no negligence with respect to this incident,” insisted Huseyin Celik, a deputy leader of the ruling party. He said the mine in Soma “was inspected vigorously 11 times since 2009.”

“Let’s learn from this pain and rectify our mistakes,” he said. “(But) this is not the time to look for a scapegoat.”

Bicak, however, said the last inspection at the Soma mine was six months before the disaster. He said the inspectors only visit the top 100 meters of the mine and the managers knew that. So, the managers would clean up the top part of the mine and the inspectors never saw what was below, he said.

Ibrahim Ali Hasdan, a Soma resident, said he was astonished by claims there was no negligence. “This statement hurts people’s hearts … even a young child wouldn’t be convinced by this statement,” he said.

President Obama called Turkish President Abdullah Gul to convey condolences and offer assistance, the White House said.

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