Expert report finds Soma mining firm, state institutions responsible for mining disaster
MANİSA – Doğan News Agency
AA PhotoAn expert report prepared by seven experts from the Istanbul Technical University into the 2014 Soma mine disaster has stated that the owner of the mine and state institutions responsible for mining facilities, including the Labor and Social Security Ministry, were responsible for the tragedy that killed 301 miners.
The export report demanded by a court in the western province of Manisa stated that the Soma Coal Mine Company was 70 percent responsible for the incident at the mine, the Turkish Coal Enterprises (TKİ) was 15 percent responsible, the General Directorate of Mining Affairs (MİGEM) was 10 percent culpable while the Labor and Social Security Ministry was 5 percent responsible.
The report stated that the Soma Coal Mine Company was at fault for forcing production, increasing production in an uncontrolled manner by not providing the necessary technical infrastructure, not conducting sufficient investments, not implementing the necessary work safety measures, not conducting a thorough risk analysis, not providing occupational health and safety and vocational training in accordance with regulations; not fulfilling internal inspections within the company as necessary; not ventilating the mine properly and not solving outstanding problems.
Experts stated that carbon monoxide masks suitable for the mine were not provided and that that the masks that did exist were too few in number for all the miners.
In all, the faults meant that the company was 70 percent responsible for the death of the 301.
The TKİ was deemed to be 15 percent responsible for its indifference to the Soma Coal Mine Company’s increase in its production amount despite prior agreements regarding a lower amount; for not taking steps to appraise the ventilation, gas tracking system and air inside the mine; and for not taking appropriate measures to rectify shortcomings regarding firefighting and rescue issues, even though the TKİ was obliged to inspect the company to which it transferred the operating rights for the mine.
The report stated that although the production and employee numbers doubled over two years, the ventilation system was not upgraded.
MİGEM was accused of indifference to the developments and of failing to take necessary precautions that might have prevented a fire in certain areas.
The ministry, meanwhile, was alleged to have failed to conduct inspections correctly as inspectors did not detect any deficiencies and malpractices during inspections at the mine, despite subsequent evaluations suggesting there extant problems that were not addressed during the inspections.
A separate expert report that was also demanded by the court and prepared by two experts from the Istanbul Technical University also found the same four institutions at fault, albeit at different percentages.
The second report stated that the Soma Coal Mine Company was 50 percent responsible for the incident, the TKİ was 30 percent responsible, while MİGEM and the ministry were both deemed 10 percent culpable.