Ermenek mine disaster could have been foreseen, prosecutor says

Ermenek mine disaster could have been foreseen, prosecutor says

KARAMAN – Anadolu Agency
Ermenek mine disaster could have been foreseen, prosecutor says A deadly mine accident that killed 18 miners in October 2014 could have been foreseen by some of the suspects and measures could have been taken before the incident, a prosecutor has said in a submission to a court hearing a relevant court case.

According to the document that was received during the ninth hearing of the Ermenek mine disaster case in which 16 suspects are being tried over the death of 18 miners, some suspects could have foreseen the accident and taken measures but instead acted against regulations.

The miners drowned in water that filled up inside the mine, the document said, adding that an alarm system that could have enabled rapid evacuation in emergency situations was not present. There was also a lack of underground control drillings, the document added.

The shortcomings were not addressed until the day of the incident and were all discovered after the expert reports and as part of the probe, the prosecutor said.

The document demanded the arrest of supervising engineer Yavuz Özsoy and the continued arrest of suspects Saffet Uyar, the owner of the mine, and Ali Kurt, a technical supervisor of the mine.

An expert report on the accident said the water that caused the flood inside the mine was not from an underground source, but was rather waste water from older coal production galleries near the site.

Drilling was being conducted just three meters from the waste water, rather than at the required 25 meters, it said, adding that the miners did not know what to do during the accident as no documents were found regarding training for workers. 

The Ermenek disaster came just six months after 301 miners died at a mine in Soma in the Aegean region on May 13, 2014, in the worst industrial accident in Turkish history.