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High levels of gas ignored at Turkish mine

Data seized by prosecutors indicate that sensors showed high gas levels inside the mine two days before the disaster.

By: Associated Press | Ankara |
May 19, 2014 4:04:40 pm
turkey-480 Thousands of protesters march to condemn the Soma mine disaster and government’s labor policy, in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, May 18, 2014. (AP)

Turkish news reports say sensors pointed to high levels of toxic gas inside a coal mine days before Turkey’s worst mining disaster, but company officials took no action.

On Monday, prosecutors formally arrested two more people over the fire in the mine in the western town of Soma that killed 301, raising the number of suspects facing charges of negligent death to five.

Hurriyet and other newspapers say data seized by prosecutors indicate that sensors showed high gas levels inside the mine as early as two days before the disaster.

They did not cite a source for the report, but miners interviewed by The Associated Press also alleged that supervisors ignored rising gas levels and failed to take precautionary measures. Most victims died from toxic gases released by the fire.

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