Saturday 23 September 2017

24 held over Turkey mining disaster that killed 301

Police use tear gas to disperse people gathered to commemorate the Soma mine accident victims in Istanbul (AP)
Police use tear gas to disperse people gathered to commemorate the Soma mine accident victims in Istanbul (AP)
Protesters march during a demonstration to blame the ruling AK Party (AKP) government for mining disaster in western Turkey, in Ankara. Around a thousand people from various trade unions gathered in Ankara to march on the Labour Ministry, some wearing miners' helmets and waving banners showing the image of Che Guevara. The banner reads, "It's a murder not an accident."
A protester holding a piece of coal and and a pick in his hands lies on the ground
A protester fires firecrackers at riot police
A protester runs away from tear gas fired by riot police
Several hundred members of the Union of Turkish Youth wear miner's helmets during a march to commemorate the Soma coal mine victims, in Amasya, Turkey

Two dozen people, including company executives, have been detained as Turkish officials investigate the mining disaster that killed 301 people.

The Dogan news agency said Ramazan Dogru, general manager of the mine owned by Soma Holding, and its operations manager, Akin Celik, were among the 24 detained. It said prosecutors were weighing charges of negligence and contributing to the deaths of more than one person.

Government and company officials have insisted that the mine was inspected regularly and negligence wasn't a factor in the tragedy.

But reacting to widespread public anger, government officials promised to investigate and pledged that any mine officials found to be negligent would be punished.

Local media said that a preliminary report by a mine safety expert who inspected the Soma mine suggested that smouldering coal caused the mine's roof to collapse. The report said the tunnel's support beams were made of wood, not metal, and the mine had too few carbon monoxide sensors.

Irish Independent

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