Turkey detains 25 over deadly Amasra coal mine explosion

Turkish police have detained 25 people over a mine explosion in the northern province of Bartın that killed 41 people earlier this month, Sabah newspaper reported on Friday.

Among those taken into police custody are the manager of the state-owned coal mine in Amasra and several other executives, the newspaper said.

The blast on October 14 at Amasra’s state-run Turkish Hard Coal Institution (TTK) claimed the lives of 41 miners, injuring 11 others.

Turkish prosecutors launched an investigation into the cause of the explosion, whose initial indications pointed to a firedamp, a term referring to methane forming an explosive mixture in coal mines, as the cause of the accident, the country's worst mine disaster in years.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had promised a full investigation into the disaster, vowing that  "no one would be spared" if found responsible.

Workers had reportedly complained about a "smell of gas" in the mine for several days leading up the explosion.

Local union leaders and opposition figures expressed outrage at what they maintain is a widespread pattern of negligence in a dangerous industry.

Turkey experienced its worst ever mining disaster in 2014 in the western town of Soma, which killed 301 people.

Critics have questioned whether vows by the government of Erdoğan to increase worker safety in a dangerous industry in the years following the Soma disaster have yielded any results amid ongoing lack of accountability for fatal errors among state officials and what they see as lax enforcement of regulations.

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