Third Soma Coal-operated mine shutdown in Turkey

28 May 2014 (Last Updated May 28th, 2014 18:30)

Turkish labour inspectors closed a further mine operated by Soma Coal Enterprises on Wednesday.

Turkish labour inspectors closed a further mine operated by Soma Coal Enterprises on Wednesday.

Soma district governor Bahattin Atci was quoted by Anadolu Agency as saying that operations at the Isiklar coal mine were halted due to deficiencies found by the inspectors, and that the mine would re-open once the issues were solved.

Isiklar is the third Soma Coal-operated mine in the region to be closed by authorities, following the Eynez and Atabacasi mines.

Atci said that all of the mines in the region, including those run by other companies, would be audited thoroughly during June.

"If any deficiency or negligence is detected, the permissions for operating will be revoked and operations will stop immediately."

"If any deficiency or negligence is detected, the permissions for operating will be revoked and operations will stop immediately," Atci said.

Meanwhile, the Turkish media has reported that two inspectors are undergoing administrative investigations for their positive reports on the Soma coal mine prior to the disaster, and they will also be investigated by the courts.

According to Turkish labour inspectors, the mines were sealed based on prosecutors' orders and they will not permit any work until its 15 officials have completed their inspections.

Atci said that staff at the sealed mines will continue to receive pay and that the mines will remain closed until inspectors are satisfied that they comply with all work safety standards.

The move by the government came after one of the country's worst mining disaster on 13 May at a Soma-operated mine, that left 301 miners dead.

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