Soma mine inspected, approved by executive’s brother-in-law

Soma mine inspected, approved by executive’s brother-in-law

Sefer Levent ISTANBUL
Soma mine inspected, approved by executive’s brother-in-law

Miners carry a rescued friend hours after an explosion and fire at the Soma mine on May 13. AP Photo

The Soma coal mine, where 301 workers lost their lives in a May 13 disaster, received a “perfect” score in March by an official inspector, who is the brother-in-law of a senior executive of the company, daily Hürriyet has revealed.

Labor chief inspector Emin Gümüş last inspected the mine in the western Turkish province of Manisa on March 13, 14, 17 and 18. Noting that 2,948 people were working in the mine, including 2,938 who were identified in the inspection as working “very dangerous” jobs, Gümüş reported that “no shortcomings were found in the scheduled inspection.”

Gümüş is married to the sister of Hayri Kebapçılar, the Project and Studies Manager of the Soma mine. “Even if an inspector is commissioned to work in a mine where one of your relatives works, he should put aside this relationship by revealing faults,” an expert told daily Hürriyet, stressing that inspecting the electrical equipment alone should usually take more than a month.

Gümüş was commissioned by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security to inspect the Soma mine again after the deadly accident, but he was withdrawn after rumors about his relations with the mine manager were spread.

Labor Minister Faruk Çelik has said that those who inspected the Soma mine bear “personal responsibility” for the disaster

The Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD) has filed a criminal complaint against several managers of the Soma mine, including Kebapçılar.