Executives Charged with Negligence in Turkish Mine Disaster
Prosecutors arrest company manager of the Soma Holding-owned mine and detain several others after tragedy claimed the lives of 301 coal workers
In the fallout of Turkey’s worst ever mining disaster at Soma, company officials have been charged and detained amid accusations of negligence following the death of 301 workers.
The arrested manager of the company running the mine, owned by Soma Holding, is Akin Celik according to prosecutor Bekir Sahiner.
Other company executives among the detained, but not arrested, included the mine's technical supervisor, its head of operations, it safety manager, duty managers and a high ranking company executive.
The Dogan news agency reported earlier that Ramazan Dogru, general manager of the mine was also detained.
A total of 25 people were initially detained although six have subsequently been released. The charges can lead to jail time of between three and 15 years.
Government and company officials have insisted that the mine was inspected regularly and negligence wasn't a factor in the explosion and fire, although the aftermath has led to angry confrontations and protests across the country.
The Milliyet newspaper reported on Saturday that a preliminary report by a mine safety expert suggested that smoldering 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. The authors are continuing their investigation and preparing a final report.
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