Soma mining disaster monument renewed after families’ objections
İZMİR – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotosA monument to commemorate the 301 miners who died in Turkey’s worst ever mining disaster in the western district of Soma will be erected in the cemetery where most are buried. The decision to build the monument follows objections from the families of the victims, who rejected a “burning coal” monument on the grounds that it would remind them of how their loved ones died every time they visited the cemetery.
In the May 13, 2014 disaster, 301 miners died of carbon monoxide poisoning after an explosion at a coalmine in Soma, in Manisa province.
After the disaster, the Manisa Municipality constructed a special cemetery for the victims of the accident, where the graves were made of black marble and lanterns were placed above the graves.
A special monument to commemorate the victims - a piece of coal that looked like it is burning - was also planned to be placed in the cemetery before the first anniversary of the disaster, but families objected to the memorial.
The objections were accepted by the municipality, which did not put up the monument on the first anniversary and instead met with sculptors and the victims’ families to work on a new design for the monument.
A new memorial with the theme “longing for the miner” was subsequently designed, which received the approval of the families. Work to construct the sculpture has now started.
The monument will reportedly depict the mountain where the Soma disaster took place with a miner entering the mine, while his wife and children yearningly wait for him outside.