Added time: 16 May 2014, Friday 16:40
Soma "accident"is not fate it is a massacre
While the prime minister Erdogan call Soma disaster an ordinary accident, a group of engineers from Chamber of ELECTRICAL Enginers, investigating the cause of the inferno have made a scandalous accusations.
"WHAT HAPPENED IN SOMA IS NOT FATE, IT IS MURDER," a local branch of the Chamber of Electrical Engineers wrote at the top of its official statement Wednesday.
The chamber of electricians also contradicted the official version of how the fire started: "The fire was not caused by an electrical situation as presented to the public in the first statements."
"The inspection revealed that the systems to sense poisonous and explosive gases in the mine and the systems to manage the air systems were insufficient and old," they said.
The blaze started as a "coal fire" at 700 meters depth then air fans pushed the flames and smoke farther through the mine, the chamber concluded. The ventilation was not corrected until "much later."
Trade unions and professional organizations from the mining sector have emphasized that privatization and the use of subcontractors has seriously weakened workplace safety at the lignite mines. Most of the workers in the region say work accidents are now daily facts of life in the town.
Turkey is no stranger to mining disasters, with accidents frequently resulting in loss of life. Unions have long criticized the government for failing to supervise mining activities, particularly with regard to subcontracting firms that are accused of employing workers with little training.
Turkey also has the highest rate of industrial accidents in all of Europe.
Turkey still has yet to sign the International Labor Organization (ILO)'s Convention No. 176 on "Security and Health in Mines".
Turkey put the ILO No. 176 in the agenda after the mine explosion in Zonguldak that killed 30 mine workers on May 17, 2010 but haven't signed it.
After 30 miners died in Zonguldak on May 17, 2010, then-Labor and Social Security Minister Ömer Dinçer attracted anger by saying those killed had died "beautifully."
"On the first 19 miners, there were no signs of burns - they died beautifully," he said on a TV program after the disaster. "The mining workers have been delivered to their families, and the families are at peace."
Visiting Zonguldak after the May 2010 disaster, Erdoğan said "[death] is the fate of this profession."