Loading…
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
HomeNewsWorld
Published: Sunday, 5/18/2014

Turkish news report: 18 people including executives detained in mine disaster investigation

ASSOCIATED PRESS
A woman walks past a bus stop with a poster offering condolences in Turkish to Soma and Turkey, in Soma, western Turkey, where the mine accident occurred. A woman walks past a bus stop with a poster offering condolences in Turkish to Soma and Turkey, in Soma, western Turkey, where the mine accident occurred.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

ISTANBUL — Eighteen people, including company executives, have been detained as Turkish officials investigate the mining disaster that killed 301 people, a domestic news agency reported today.

The Dogan news agency said Ramazan Dogru, general manager of the mine owned by Soma Holding, and its operations manager, Akin Celik, were among those detained. It said prosecutors were questioning five people today but did not specify whom.

Government and company officials have insisted that the mine was inspected regularly and negligence was not a factor. But reacting to widespread public anger, government officials promised to investigate and pledged that any mine officials found to be negligent would be punished.

The Milliyet newspaper said Saturday that a preliminary report by a mine safety expert who inspected the Soma mine 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.

Company officials have described safety standards as high, noting that the mine contained 50 gas sensors and employees were provided gas masks.

At a press conference Friday, Celik said thick smoke from the underground fire killed many miners who were not carrying gas masks. Rescue workers entering the mine complained of high levels of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

“There is no negligence,” Celik said. “I have been doing this job for 20 years but I have never seen anything like this. We would not want harm to come to a single fingernail of our workers.”

On Saturday, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said rescue workers retrieved the bodies of the last two miners missing in the disaster, putting the death toll at 301. Authorities then sealed the mine entrance with bricks.



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.

Related stories