The Soma mining disaster: A tragedy foretold

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Tank, Pinar (2014) The Soma mining disaster: A tragedy foretold, The New Middle East blog. 22 May.

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As the rescue operation into Turkey´s worst industrial accident came to end on Saturday, 17 May, the number of dead was confirmed at 301 (of 787) with scores still unaccounted for. An explosion due to a faulty transformer is the official reason behind the worst mining accident in Turkey´s history with poor safety standards a significant contributing factor. Behind the grief and ensuing anger, there is a sense that this was a tragedy that could have been prevented. Only two weeks previously, the AKP government rejected a motion by the opposition Republican People´s Party (with the support of other parties in Parliament) to look into safety in the mining industry. Turkey´s record on mining safety is poor and according to the Turkish Statistical Institute, there were over 13 000 work place incidents in 2013 alone.

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