MAC: Mines and Communities

Turkey: Madenkoy copper mine collapses in Siirt province

Published by MAC on 2016-12-04
Source: The Guardian, Yenisafak

At least 11 people die, as heavy rainfall believed to trigger a landslide

At least 11 people have died in the collapse of the Madenkoy copper mine, located in the Sirvan district of Turkey's southeastern province of Siirt.

The mine's operating manager was taken into custody, and a journalist working for the BBC’s Turkish-language service was also detained, without official explanation

Turkey detains BBC journalist reporting on mine disaster

Hatice Kamer, a journalist working for the BBC’s Turkish-language service, freed after being held in south-east of country.

27 November 2016

Turkish authorities have freed a reporter for the BBC’s Turkish-language service after holding her for a day without explanation, the broadcaster said.

Hatice Kamer was detained on Saturday while reporting on a copper mine disaster in the Kurdish-dominated Siirt region of the south-east that left 11 miners dead and five missing, BBC Türkçe said in a statement on its website. Kamer had been trying to talk to relatives of the miners.

BBC Türkçe said she had been held overnight at the Siirt police HQ and was in a good condition, but there was still no explanation of why Kamer had been detained.

The German broadcaster Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), which Kamer also works for, said it had learnt from the journalist that she “is accused of having supported the terrorist organisation PKK through her reporting”.

“She was told that she would have to stand trial,” said WDR after speaking to Kamer by phone. The 39-year-old journalist said there was no evidence to back the allegations, according to WDR.

Dozens of journalists have been detained in Turkey under the state of emergency in the wake of the failed coup on 15 July. Critics say the crackdown goes far beyond measures against the suspected coup plotters and is targeting opponents of the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

According to the Platform for Independent Journalism website, there are now 145 journalists behind bars in Turkey, several from the Kurdish-majority south-east, where the outlawed PKK, or Kurdistan Workers’ party, is waging a deadly insurgency. AFP Istanbul.

Mahir Zeynalov, a US-based Turkish journalist who has drawn attention to the widespread detention of his colleagues, tweeted:

Ten staff from the anti-Erdoğan Cumhuriyet daily were arrested earlier this month, causing an international outcry. Several of the journalists under arrest are from the Kurdish-majority south-east where the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK) is waging a deadly insurgency against the military.

Copper mine executive held following collapse in Turkey

5 miners dead after landslide causes mine collapse in Siirt province, 11 still trapped.

November 20, 2016

The operating manager of the copper mine where five miners were killed in a collapse has been remanded in custody, the governor's office said Sunday.

Mehmet Oguz, who works for operator Park Elektrik, appeared in court late Saturday. He is accused of negligence relating to safety regulations.

Five other staff from Park Elektrik and subcontractor Antlar Insaat were released after they were arrested Saturday. Police are still seeking an Antlar manager for questioning.

Rescuers are still trying to free 11 miners trapped underground at the Madenkoy copper mine in Sirvan, Siirt province, since late Thursday. The collapse is believed to have been caused by a landslide triggered by heavy rainfall.

A spokesman for the mine said rescuers would attempt to reach a group of four or five miners trapped underground.

Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, who earlier visited the site, said intensive efforts to free the men would continue. He warned that the risk of further landslides remained and were restricting the rescue operation.

A hundred expert engineers and other personnel and 50 construction machines are working around the clock.

“Our priority is to get our citizens out of the ground as soon as possible," Albayrak said. “We will reveal the main cause of this event."

According to Park Elektrik's website, the company, which is a member of the Ciner Group, has operated the mine since 2006. An estimated 41.5 million tonnes of copper ore are at the site.

Accidents have beset Turkey's mining industry in the past. In May 2014, 301 coal miners were killed in the Soma mine in western Turkey, the country's worst mining disaster. In October, 18 died in a flood at a coal mine in Ermenek, central Turkey.

Death toll rises to five in Turkish copper mine collapse

Five workers lose their lives in a copper mine collapse in the Turkish province of Siirt.

November 19, 2016

The death toll has risen to five after a landslide initially caused the collapse at a copper mine in the southeastern Turkish province of Siirt.

The accident occurred in the Şirvan town of the city on Thursday.

The rescue teams were working to reach 11 miners trapped underground after heavy rainfall led to the disaster at the Madenköy copper mine in the town.

As of Saturday, six suspects in the landslide Siirt mine disaster, including the site manager and subcontractor, were arrested over the investigation into the mine collapse case led by Şirvan Chief Public Prosecutor.

A crisis management center was established by the governor's office and an investigation was launched about the disaster.

According to Park Elektrik's website, the company which has operated the mine since 2006, the site contains an estimated 41.5 million tons of copper ore.

On May 13, 2014, an explosion at a coal mine in Soma, Manisa, Turkey, caused an underground mine fire, which burned until 15 May.

In total, 301 people were killed in what was the worst mine disaster in Turkey's history.

The second biggest mine accident occurred in northern Zonguldak province of Turkey, which killed 263 miners.

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