Veterans of 2010 Chilean mine disaster praise Turkish law

'We can learn from Turkey' said Chilean rescue team leader Rodrigo Reveco.

Veterans of 2010 Chilean mine disaster praise Turkish law

World Bulletin / News Desk

The man who led the 2010 dramatic rescue of 33 trapped miners in Chile has praised Turkish legislation which saw the owner of the notorious Soma mine have its assets frozen.

Rodrigo Reveco, head of the rescue team which saved the Chilean copper miners trapped underground after 69 days, told an Istanbul press conference Monday that mine owners had not been charged after the incident; "We can learn from Turkey," he said.

Over 300 Turkish miners died in Soma last month, the country’s biggest-ever mining disaster.

"Although in Soma you had the necessary equipment, the miners working there didn't know how to use [it]. You need to educate your staff," Reveco added.

"It was really difficult to rescue the miners in Soma as the firedamp [flammable gas] filled the air. We, rescue teams, call firedamp the 'silent killer',” he said.

"The main problem in Soma was that there wasn't any escape route in the mine," he added.

Luis Urzua, the last miner rescued in the Chilean mine, said that "preventive measures" are important both for employers and workers.

Earlier this month, a court froze assets belonging to Soma Holding and closed the mine.

The two Chilean miners are in Istanbul as part of an invitation from Turkey’s Democracy Supervisors’ Association, a non-governmental organization which was founded last August.

Dr. Mehmet Ozkaya, the head of the association, said that they want to keep the Soma disaster on the agenda and to take necessary measures against possible accidents in the future.

The two miners will meet with Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the opposition Republican People's Party, and Devlet Bahceli of the Nationalist Movement Party as well as visiting relatives of the Soma victims.

A three-year investigation about the Chilean mining accident ended in 2013 with no charges being filed.

Last Mod: 23 Haziran 2014, 15:28
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