Lawsuit opened against officials responsible for killing 18 miners in Ermenek
KARAMAN – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoA lawsuit has been opened into accused of responsibility in a mine accident in the Central Anatolian province of Karaman’s Ermenek district that left 18 workers dead last year.
The Ermenek Public Prosecutor’s Office announced that a civil lawsuit had been launched at a high criminal court on charges of causing the death of more than one person through conscious negligence.
The office added that a probe into the public officials accused of negligence in the deadly accident was different from the main case, according to the law and that permission had been asked to prosecute them.
An expert report found Ermenek Cenne Lignite Coal Enterprises Chairman and Manager Abdullah Özbey and Has Şekerler Mining Company owner Saffet Uyur responsible in the case, along with the General Directorate of Mining Affairs (MİGEM) over its audits of the mine.
Özbey, Uyar and technical supervisor Ali Uyar were jailed on pending trial on charges of reckless homicide. Ermenek Cenne Lignite Coal Enterprises Operation Manager Mehmet Zeybek, Has Şekerler Mining Company Operation Manager Yavuz Özsoy and mining engineers Cemile Karaca and Nuray Yetiş and occupational safety specialist Engin Yeti will also stand trial.
Eighteen miners were killed after they were trapped underground following a flood at the coal mine on Oct. 28, 2014.
The expert report said the water that caused the flood inside the mine was not from underground waters, but waste water in older coal production galleries near the site.
Drilling was being conducted only 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 on 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.