Engineers: Mining Disaster Was 'Murder'

Anger erupts as PM's aide appears to kick protester
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2014 8:42 AM CDT
In this photo taken Wednesday, May 14, 2014, a person identified by Turkish media as Yusuf Yerkel, advisor to PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, kicks a protester already held by special forces police members.   ((AP))
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(Newser) – With the death toll now at 282 and the hope of finding survivors diminishing, anger over yesterday's mine disaster in Turkey is spiking fast—and some aren't hesitating to point fingers. "WHAT HAPPENED IN SOMA IS NOT FATE, IT IS MURDER," a branch of the Chamber of Electrical Engineers wrote yesterday, claiming the cause of the fire was negligence, not "an electrical situation as presented to the public." The group said, per CNN, "the investigation 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" and air fans actually pushed flames farther through the mine; ventilation wasn't righted until "much later."

A video, obtained by the Telegraph, isn't helping the government's standing after news that an opposition motion to inspect the mines was shot down last month. It appears to show an aide to PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan kicking a grieving protester, held down by paramilitary police in Soma, where protesters have vandalized a local ruling party office. Erdogan has said the opposition motion had "nothing to do with the Soma mine." Already Turkey's worst ever industrial accident, the death toll could reach 400 as 150 miners are still underground and no survivors have been found since yesterday morning, the Guardian notes. CNN adds the bodies of 200 miners have been returned to their families, while the AP reports on the songs of heartbreak being sung as backhoes dig rows of graves and funerals begin en masse.

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