Disaster in a Turkish mine. Accident? Probably no one intentionally caused the explosion.
But in such an instance, there are really no accidents.
Safety is a consequence of planning, regulation, inspections and control. The saying: "Safety is no accident."
There is certainly more to the explosion in Turkey than an accident, and the public is pointing the finger right at Prime Minister Erdogan. Why?
It is more than the fact that more than 300 miners are dead. The opposition parties had united to present a
demand that mines be more closely inspected. Two weeks ago the governing party defeated the proposed measure. At the very least, the timing is bad for the governing party. But there's more. The minister of mines had stood at that
mine 9 months ago, declaring how safe the mines were compared to other
countries (and despite a horrific safety record). Turkish mines had gone through a government-led
privatization, which cut costs through low-wage job replacement and in-house
equipment production (the failure of which caused the fire).
It will be
interesting to see how Erdogan gets out of this one.
The lesson: the magic of the marketplace usually doesn't do much for safety. Without strong regulation and enforcement, people die.
Not only in Turkey.