Report finds mine company fully responsible for Soma mine disaster

Report finds mine company fully responsible for Soma mine disaster

MANİSA – Anadolu Agency
Report finds mine company fully responsible for Soma mine disaster

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An expert report has found that the company that operated the coal mine in the Aegean town of Soma is 100 percent responsible for last year’s mining accident, in which 301 workers were killed.

A report, prepared by experts at the Social Security Institution (SGK) Guidance and Inspection İzmir Group Head office, cited a series of cases in which negligence was found at the mine but not addressed by the mine operators, Soma Kömürcülük A.Ş.   

The victims’ lawyers are expected to demand that the Akhisar Court of Serious Crimes include the report into the ongoing case into the accident.

In the May 13, 2014 disaster, 301 miners died of carbon monoxide poisoning after an explosion at a coalmine in Soma, in the western Turkish province of Manisa.

The accident took place due to the lack of adequate security measures taken at the mine, the report stated, adding that the accident could have been prevented if these measures were taken beforehand. 

The system that transported the coal and the workers inside the mine was not resistant to the fire, and there was not sufficient material to use in extinguishing the fire inside the galleries, the report stated. 

It also said the mine lacked the automatic system to detect smoke or heat or extinguish any fire, while the operating company did not check the old galleries that were not being used. The report noted that the firm had failed to conduct a fire drill or perform the evacuation of the workers from the mine as a drill. The mine’s urgent action plan did not include planning what to do in the event of a fire inside the mine, according to the report.

The report came as the trial into the Soma mine accident continued this week in a local court in the Akhisar district of Manisa.

The trial opened back on April 13. In the case, 45 suspects, including the eight former managers from the Soma Coal Mine Company that ran the mine, deny charges of “killing with probable criminal intent,” prompting anger among the families of the 301 victims.