Two more charged over Turkish mining disaster

Monday 19 May 2014 12.14
More than 300 people died in the fire and explosion at Soma
More than 300 people died in the fire and explosion at Soma

Two more officials in Turkey have been charged with manslaughter as the government promised "a plan of action" to improve mining safety.

It follows the country's worst mining disaster last week, which claimed 301 lives. 

A total of five officials from mining company Soma Komur have now been charged with manslaughter.

News agency Dogan reported that more are due before prosecutors later today.

Meanwhile, the government said it would outline improved controls on mining safety this week, focusing on improved coordination between supervising agencies. 

Turkey could also ratify the International Labour Organisation's convention on mining health and safety.  

According to the ILO, Turkey had the highest number of work deaths in Europe in 2012, and the third highest in the world.

More than 1,000 Turkish miners were killed between 2002 and 2012.

Since last Tuesday's explosion at the Soma mine, the government and mining officials have been accused of negligence, sparking protests in several towns and cities.

A total of 25 mining officials were detained for questioning by the police yesterday under orders from investigators. 

The five charged with manslaughter include general manager of Soma Komur, Akin Celik, as well as two engineers and two supervisors.

The lead prosecutor in Soma, Bekir Sahiner, ruled out yesterday that an electrical fault triggered the fire that spread through the mine.

Rescue operations were suspended on Saturday as information from families suggested that all the bodies had been recovered.

Police have used tear gas and water cannons to disperse large protests in Turkey's main cities. Another demonstration is planned in Ankara today.

Keywords: mine, turkey, soma