SOMA, Manisa May 20 Eight suspects were
arrested by a Turkish court late on Monday in the western town
of Soma, on a provisional charge of "causing multiple deaths" in
last week's mine disaster, as the last of the 301 victims were
Ramazan Dogru, general manager of Soma Coal Mining Company,
and Chief Executive Can Gurkan, the son of company owner Alp
Gurkan, were among those arrested.
The arrests came after twenty-six people were detained and
questioned. The remaining suspects were released, but could face
An initial report on the possible causes of the accident,
cited by prosecutor Bekir Sahiner, indicated that the fire could
have been triggered by coal heating up after making contact with
The disaster was the deadliest mining incident in Turkey's
history, surpassing the death toll of a firedamp explosion that
killed 263 miners in Zonguldak in 1992.
The disaster has sparked protests across Turkey, directed at
mine owners accused of ignoring safety for profit, and at Prime
Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government, seen as too close to
industry bosses and insensitive in its response.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing
by Clarence Fernandez)