Still no justice after Turkish mine disaster which killed 18

Amid an ongoing trial, anyone is yet to be declared responsible for a deadly mining accident that took place in southern Turkey an entire year after the incident.
The Ermenek mine accident left 18 people trapped underground on Oct 28, 2014, after the mine was flooded with water that failed to drain through one of the shafts. Seven people, including five engineers, the owner and two senior officials at the mine, were detained days later by the police on suspicion of negligence.
Though 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 that were affiliated with the ministry. The Ministry of Energy also refused to allow investigations into 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.
Autopsies performed on the recovered bodies have determined that the cause of death was not drowning but methane poisoning. According to the report, all the miners, including the two whose bodies were recovered on the 10th day, did not drown when the mine was flooded with water but died due to poisoning from exposure to methane gas.
The prosecutor also stated during the first stage of the trial in June that the mine did not have a hydrogen sulfide meter, which led to the miners being informed of the collapse very late, adding that the mine did not have an alarm system despite it being a legal requirement.
and”Because there was no alarm system, the miners who were located far from the place where the collapse took place did not understand the seriousness of the accident and did not immediately evacuate the mine,and” the prosecutor said in the indictment.
Reports from Wednesday indicate that the mine is still in the same condition as a year ago due to legal obstacles that are currently preventing it from operating. Standing water still remains in the mine and the dressing room is full of uniforms and helmets used by workers prior to the disaster.

SOURCE: TODAYS ZAMAN