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Turkey: Company executives go on trial over Soma mine disaster

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By Euronews
Turkey: Company executives go on trial over Soma mine disaster

Protesters are calling for harsh sentences, as mining company executives go on trial over Turkey’s worst ever industrial accident.

Three-hundred-and-one workers were killed last May when an underground fire sent carbon monoxide through a mine in the town of Soma.

Hundreds of demonstrators have joined a march in Akhisar, in western Turkey.

“Words are not enough to express our pain. I have another son. He still works underground. He goes there everyday. And everyday, I go through the same pain. I wonder when the news will come to me,” said the relative of one victim.

Another added: “I want the (mine) inspector to be punished as well.”

Some of those who gathered were also angry that the defendants had not been brought to the court hearing.

“The culprits should be brought here. Why don’t they bring the defendants here? Let us see them, let us see how they defend themselves,” said one man.

After the disaster, mine operator Soma Holding said there had been no negligence. The government insisted that existing safety regulations were sound.

In all, 45 people are facing charges, which include “killing with probable intent” and “criminally negligent manslaughter.”