Court jails three over 2014 Soma disaster

Court jails three over 2014 Soma disaster

Court jails three over 2014 Soma disaster

A court has handed out long prison sentences to an executive of a company and two engineers over a 2014 mining disaster that killed 301 people in the Soma district of the western province of Manisa.

The Akhisar Heavy Penal Court on June 16 sentenced Can Gürkan, the chairman of the executive board of the mining company Soma Kömürleri, to 20 years in prison.

Engineers Adem Ormanoğlu and Efkan Kurt received 12 years and 6 months in jail. While a fourth suspect, Haluk Seviç, who was in charge of the emergency action plan at the company, was acquitted.

Claimed to be the world’s worst mining disaster in 40 years, and the 19th worst in world history, an explosion and fire in the Soma mine, operated by Soma Komürleri, trapped hundreds of miners, killing 301 men and injuring more than 160 in May 2014.

In the trial in July 2018, a court sentenced five people in jail terms between 15 years to 22 years while ruling for the release of nine other defendants on bail. The court acquitted 37 people. Gürkan was sentenced to 15 years.

A court in İzmir, however, turned down the prison sentences for five suspects and ruled for release of Gürkan.

The 12th chamber of the Court of Appeals overturned the sentences for Gürkan, Ormanoğlu and Kurt and ruled for a retrial.