Turkish court arrests two engineers in relation to gold mine disaster

A Turkish court has arrested two engineers for the collapsed Çöpler Gold Mine in Turkey’s eastern Erzincan province. They were employed in operational positions at the mine that collapsed on Feb. 13, trapping nine workers who have not still been found.  

Duvar English

A Turkish court on March 2 arrested engineers İ.T. and K.M.A. in connection to the probe into the collapsed Çöpler Gold Mine in the eastern Erzincan province. 

The engineers worked for the operator Anagold Mining Company in managing positions at the mine, according to reporting by the Anadolu Agency (AA). 

Police had detained the engineers for questioning. After initial questioning, the court arrested them pending trial. 

The Erzincan Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has launched an investigation into the mine collapse. Six suspects, including the Canadian manager of the company, were arrested and another three suspects were released on judicial control measures.

The Feb. 13 landslide at the Çöpler Gold Mine trapped nine workers under thousands of tons of mass consisting of cyanide. Search operations for the workers are still on pause due to the ongoing risk of landslides. 

Workers stated that the company had known about the landslide risk ahead of the disaster. Some have reported nausea and headaches after working in the clean-up operation, raising suspicions about cyanide poisoning.

The Ministry of Environment, Urbanization, and Climate Change on Feb. 17 announced that the mine's license had been revoked.

Experts have warned about cyanide and other heavy metal contamination in the environment, especially the Euphrates River that neighbors the mine. 

The Environment Ministry and mine owner Anagold Mining Company alike have denied any pollution in the Euphrates River so far.