Turkey pays TL 43 mln to owner of mine where 18 were killed

A total of TL 43 million was paid from the state unemployment fund to the firm operating the Ermenek mine, the scene of a deadly jobsite accident last year, according to a report in the Taraf daily on Monday.
The report stated that a regulation passed in Parliament in February of this year granted support to victimsand’ families of the disaster, but also significant financial support to the Has iekerler mining company, officials of which are currently on trial for their alleged responsibility in the disaster, which killed 18 miners who were trapped underground after the mine was flooded with water that failed to be drained.
The regulation granted support for the families of the 18 victims in the form of six monthly payments of double the gross minimum wage however, it also paid TL 43 million to the mining company to cover expenses including the wages of workers who were not paid due to the mine not being open. Amid an ongoing trial, no one has yet been declared responsible for the deadly accident over a year after it occurred.
Although lengthy prison terms are being sought for company executives for murder on the basis of criminal negligence, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security has refused to allow investigations into the mine inspectors who were affiliated with the ministry. The Ministry of Energy also refused to allow investigations of its inspectors.
The official reaction to the disaster was similar to a mining accident that occurred months earlier in Soma, in western Turkey. That explosion killed 301 miners, making it the worst job-site accident in the countryand’s history. No ministry figures have resigned despite repeated calls. The trial in that accident is also ongoing a year-and-a-half after the disaster took place.
Claims of negligence have been leveled as some say water inside the mine was not drained on time, which caused the flooding. According to regulations, the water should have been drained every other week. Many of the minersand’ bodies were not able to be recovered until over a month after the disaster took place.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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