Hearing into Soma mine disaster adjourned until Tuesday

The second hearing of trial into suspects in the case for Soma mining disaster in history, which claimed the lives of 301 mine workers in Turkish western town of Soma in May 2014, was adjourned until Tuesday.

the court ruled that the second hearing of the case which was supposed to be held on Monday at the AKhisar High Criminal Court, will be held on Tuesday since different lawyers should be appointed for the defendants and plaintiffs.

On May 13, 2014, Turkey was shocked by an explosion and a blaze at the coal mine in Soma, a town in the western Manisa province, which killed 301 workers and injured scores of others. A fire that started in the mine rapidly depleted the oxygen in the mineshaft, causing hundreds of miners to die of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Eight people were arrested in relation to the catastrophic mining accident in Soma. Under tight security measures, the eight defendants were taken to the court building by the security officials in the morning. In the previous hearing the defendants including Soma Coal Mining Inc. CEO Can Gurkan, General Manager Ramazan Dogru and Operating Manager Akin Celik, were not present for security reasons. Meanwhile families of the slain workers held a march to the court building and shouted slogans.

Prosecutors are seeking to proceed with first-degree murder charges against Gurkan and the seven other senior officials, while prison terms of between 32 months and 20 years are being sought for eight other company employees on charges of homicide via conscious negligence.