World Bulletin / News Desk
Three suspects in Turkey's worst-ever mining disaster are said to have been killed during the disaster, according to a statement issued by Public Prosecutor office of Akhisar, a town in Manisa, in the west of the country on Tuesday.
The statement said a total of 36 people including company executives were detained on Monday.
Of those, eight were arrested, nine are still being questioned and nineteen were released on Tuesday.
The suspects are accused of "causing the reckless killing of more than one person.”
CEO Can Gurkan - who is also the son of the owner, Alp Gurkan - and the general manager of the company operating the mine, Ramazan Dogru, were arrested on Monday.
Two security chiefs were also arrested after the Operating Manager of Soma Coal Mining Company Akin Celik, engineers Yalcin Erdogan and Ertan Ersoy, and security chief Yasin Kurnaz were taken into custody on Sunday following a court hearing.
The coal mine disaster that occured on May 13 is the deadliest mining incident in Turkey's history, surpassing the death toll of a firedamp explosion that killed 263 miners in Zonguldak in 1992.
Mines and stone quarries appear as some of the most dangerous places to work in Turkey, according to government statistics.
Since 1941, more than 3,000 people have died in Turkey and more than 100,000 have been injured in mining accidents, figures from Turkey's statistics agency show.
More than 480 workers survived the Soma disaster.
Negligence over Soma mine accident to be punished
With eight arrests being made over the Soma mine disaster, Turkey’s Justice Minister says that ‘’those who are negligent and at fault will receive punishment prescribed by law.’’
"Judgment will be made against those who are negligent and at fault in the mining disaster or any other disaster," Bekir Bozdag said on Tuesday during a speech at the parliament in the Turkish capital, Ankara.
Bozdag reassured that a legal investigation is underway, detentions are being made and inspections by experts are being carried out.
After evidence has been gathered and the examination is complete, an indictment and trial will take place, Bozdag said.
Legal work is also being carried out to define the term 'martyrdom' in Turkish law, according to the country’s Minister of Family and Social Policies, Aysenur Islam.
With the intention of declaring those who lost their lives as martyrs, Islam told reporters in the parliament on Tuesday that there is no legal definition of 'martyrdom'. Regulations will now be put in place with the help from current words and terms in the law.Last Mod: 20 Mayıs 2014, 15:01