Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

14 May 2014

Turkish mine explosion tragedy should have been averted

Turkish mine explosion tragedy should have been averted
Some 245 men are reported to have died with 80 injured after an explosion at a coal mine in Soma, west Turkey.

Some 245 men are reported to have died with 80 injured after an explosion at a coal mine in Soma, west Turkey.

© Ahmet Sik/Getty Images


This was a tragedy that should have been avoided. The long history of deaths in mines in Turkey raises chilling questions over workers’ safety. The fact that the government rejected recent calls by parliamentarians to investigate serious work-related accidents is nothing short of shocking. They are playing with people’s lives.
Source: 
Andrew Gardner, Researcher on Turkey at Amnesty International
Date: 
Wed, 14/05/2014

 

The Turkish government must urgently investigate last night’s catastrophic coal mine explosion and reports of dangerous working practices in the mining sector to stop further tragedies said Amnesty International.

 

“This was a tragedy that should have been avoided. The long history of deaths in mines in Turkey raises chilling questions over workers’ safety. The fact that the government rejected recent calls by parliamentarians to investigate serious work-related accidents is nothing short of shocking. They are playing with people’s lives,” said Andrew Gardner, Researcher on Turkey at Amnesty International.  

 

Some 245 men are reported to have died with 80 injured after an explosion at a coal mine in Soma, west Turkey, on Tuesday 13 May. The death toll is expected to rise significantly as 800 workers were on site as the explosion occurred. 

 

The mine is owned by Soma Kömür İşletmeleri A.Ş, a subsidiary of Soma Holding, the largest underground coal producer in Turkey. 

 

Previous mine disasters in Turkey include an explosion, in 1992, at a coal mine in the black sea province of Zonguldak in which 263 miners died.

 

Last year, a parliamentarian from the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) submitted a motion to Parliament to investigate work-related accidents at coal mines in Soma. The proposal was supported by all of the three opposition parties. However the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) voted against the motion and it was rejected two weeks ago.

 

“Turkish authorities must launch an immediate investigation into the causes of the explosion. Remedies must be made available to the survivors and victims’ relatives. Soma Holding must fully cooperate with the process and the results of the investigation must be made public,” said Andrew Gardner. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Issue

Business And Human Rights 

Country

Turkey 

Region

Europe And Central Asia 

@amnestyonline on twitter

News

19 August 2014

The World Bank endorsed the Lagos state government’s inadequate compensation package for thousands of people forcibly evicted from an informal settlement.

Read more »
15 August 2014

The number of killings perpetrated by the police is on the rise again in the Dominican Republic whilst legislation intended to fix the problem stalls and stagnates in Congress... Read more »

19 August 2014

Court ruling directing the release of prisoner of conscience Irom Sharmila because there were no grounds for charging her with attempted suicide is a legal and moral victory... Read more »

06 August 2014

Ukrainian MP and former presidential candidate Oleg Lyashko has been “detaining” – in effect abducting – and ill-treating individuals across eastern Ukraine with total impunity... Read more »

20 August 2014

The apparent execution-style killing by the Islamic State (IS) armed group of a US reporter who went missing in Syria constitutes a war crime.

Read more »