Turkey charges mining company CEO over disaster

Turkey has charged three more people with manslaughter over the country’s worst mining disaster, including the CEO of the company operating the pit, reports said on Tuesday.

By (AFP)

Published: Tue 20 May 2014, 7:38 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 1:59 AM

Can Gurkan, the chief executive of mining company Soma Komur, general manager Ramazan Dogru and a technician were the latest to face manslaughter charges over the disaster that claimed 301 lives, the private NTV television said.

A total of eight officials from Soma Komur have now been charged over last Tuesday’s accident at the Soma mine that sparked anti-government protests in several towns and cities.

Gurkan and other company executives have denied any responsibility for the disaster.

The private Dogan news agency reported that police were also looking for the owner of the firm’s mother company Soma Holding, Alp Gurkan, for questioning.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Tuesday the accident would not be covered up and would be thoroughly investigated.

“The judicial probe will be launched. We will be monitoring it. Whoever is responsible will be brought to justice,” he told his ruling party lawmakers in parliament.

According to the International Labour Organisation, Turkey had the highest number of work deaths in Europe in 2012, and the third highest in the world. From 2002 to 2012, more than 1,000 Turkish miners have been killed.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), called for a minute of silence during his address to a group meeting of his party’s lawmakers.

He then read out the names of every miner killed in the Soma accident.

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