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Turkish opposition suggests evidence being destroyed in mining tragedy.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- Control of the Soma mine was returned to its operator only 20 months after a deadly accident, so another investigation at the scene of the explosion is pointless, EuzgE-r Euzel, a deputy from the Republican People's Party (CHP), said in reference to the spoliation of evidence ahead of an examination of the mine by experts.

A panel of experts is set to descend into the mine for the third time in order to look for more evidence regarding Turkey's deadliest mining accident, which killed 301 people in May 2014, on Friday.

But CHP Manisa deputy Euzel said on Wednesday that any evidence found in the area would not be reliable because the operator has already retaken control of the mine.

"I wish the mine had not been returned to the operator, Soma KE[micro]mE-r yE-letmeleri A.E[currency]., one-and-a-half years ago but was instead taken over by a trustee. The mine has not been in operation for the past one-and-a-half years, but no evidence has been left that would be detrimental to the company [at trial]. Evidence was tampered with in its favor," Euzel said.

The trial of suspects in the case began at the Akhisar High Criminal Court in April of last year. Euzel said experts will inspect the place where the explosion took place for the first time on Friday and reiterated that no evidence has been left at the incident site.

The Soma case began with 48 suspects, including the owner of Soma KE[micro]mE-r yE-letmeleri A.E[currency]. and its executives. The number of suspects fell to six over time. The sixth hearing in the case will be held on Feb. 16.

Workplace accidents claim 110 lives in January

At least 110 workers died in work-related accidents in January, the Council for Workers' Health and Work Safety (ySyG) stated in a report released on Wednesday.

Compiling data from print, visual and digital media, along with statistics kept by unions and notifications from victims' relatives, ySyG said most of January's workplace accidents occurred in the construction, metal and transportation sectors. Meanwhile, four workers died in the mining industry.

Traffic accidents, becoming trapped in a collapsed building under construction or other wreckage and suffocation were among the most common causes of death in January, ySyG reported.

Gross negligence and poor safety standards at workplaces are cited as reasons for most work-related accidents in Turkey, with several experts arguing that the Soma accident was a clear indicator of Turkey's bleak record in job safety.

The provinces of ystanbul, Kocaeli and yzmir registered the highest numbers of worker deaths.

Job accidents claimed the lives of 1,730 workers in 2015, while the number in the preceding year, during which the Soma tragedy shocked the country, was 1,886.

MUSTAFA KUE[currency]EN | MANISA [Cihan/Today's Zaman] CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Feb 3, 2016
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