Turkish court hands down prison sentences to executives over Soma mine disaster

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Relative of Soma mine disaster victim mourns at the cemetery in the Turkish town of Soma in Manisa, Turkey on May 13, 2016 marking the second anniversary of the Soma mine disaster in which 301 workers were killed after an explosion on May 13, 2014 in the western town of Soma. Evren Atalay / Anadolu Agency

A Turkish court sentenced five mining company executives to up to 22 years in prison on Wednesday over their role in a coal mine disaster in western Turkey four years ago, Reuters reported.

In 2014, 301 miners were killed in a fire inside a coal mine in Soma, western Turkey — the nation’s worst mining disaster.

The mining company’s general manager and technical manager were both sentenced to 22 years in prison. Two other company officials were sentenced to nearly 19 years, and the chairman was sentenced to 15 years in prison, the ruling seen by Reuters said.

According to the report, the court acquitted more than 30 of among 51 defendants who had been put on trial over the 301 deaths on charges ranging from “killing with probable intent” to “criminally negligent manslaughter.”

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