Five managers sentenced to prison over deadly Zonguldak mine accident
Some 30 miners died on May 17, 2010 in a methane explosion inside the mine. DHA PhotoA local court has sentenced five managers of the Karadon mine in the Black Sea province of Zonguldak to between five and 10 years in prison each on Oct. 31 in the trial into a deadly accident that cost the lives to 30 workers.
The convicted officials include three managers from the state-run Turkish Coal Institute (TTK) and two managers from Yapı-tek, the company operating the mine. TTK deputy director İsmail Güner was sentenced to six years and three months of prison, while the deputy director of the Karadon mine, Yusuf Ünlütürk, and the director of the real estate and construction department, Mustafa Küçük, were both given five years in prison.
Yapı-Tek company’s partner Halim Köse and project manager, Kadir İpek, were both sentenced to 10 years on charges of “causing the deaths of workers.” The other 23 suspects were acquitted in the trial.
But the ruling did not satisfy lawyers representing the relatives of the victims, who argued the suspects should have been sentenced with the highest sentence possible for their charges.
“We had also asked the suspects to be on detention pending the trial. It didn’t happen. If it did, it would have been productive in preventing such labor accidents. Giving the highest prison sentences is also important to make these accidents more preventable,” said lawyer Ünal Demirtaş.
Some 30 miners died on May 17, 2010 in a methane explosion inside the mine. Lawyers had shown the accused managers of not providing the adequate safety equipment inside the facility.
The ruling comes as 18 miners are trapped underground in a mine in the Central Anatolian district of Karaman, following the flooding of one of its galleries. It also comes as the trial into the mining disaster in Soma that killed 301 workers is set to start in the coming weeks.