Siz sentenced for mine collapse case

Siz sentenced for mine collapse case

BURSA - Doğan News Agency
Siz sentenced for mine collapse case

Relatives of the mine workers, who lost their lives during the firedamp explosion in 2009 in Bursa’s Mustafakemalpaşa district, fainted upon hearing the verdict. AA photo

A Bursa court released one mine manager and sentenced six more to jail terms of five to seven years. The managers were convicted in the firedamp explosion case in which 19 miners were killed two years ago in Bursa’s Mustafakemalpaşa district.

Three mine managers, including Bükköy Madencilik mining company Board Chairman Nurullah Ercan, were sentenced to five years behind bars and two others were sentenced to six years in jail.

The decision raised reactions from the relatives of the killed miners, some of whom fainted upon hearing the verdict.

Mehmet Çetin, one of the lawyers of the killed miners, said the lawyers objected to the verdict and will seek longer imprisonments for the mine managers even though three bosses were also punished, which is exceptional for this kind of cases.

“In previous trials, the bosses who were actually responsible were always set free. For the first time they will be sent behind bars,” Çetin said. The 2009 explosion killing 19 miners caused a debate over regulating public mining companies.

During their defense at the court, the defendants said one of the killed miners did not test the gas density balance and another did not lead the workers to a secure area during the gas leak, therefore causing the incident. However the court found the defendants guilty.

More than 10,000 people have died in work-related accidents in Turkey over the past 10 years, said the Labor and Social Security Ministry recently.

In 2002, the number of occupational deaths was 872, but by 2010 the number rose to 1,444.
Coal mining, metal production and construction were the top industries responsible for the most occupational fatalities.