NEWS Serious accident at ThyssenKrupp Steel after worker Refat Süleyman’s death

Serious accident at ThyssenKrupp Steel after worker Refat Süleyman's death

Germany’s big companies are taking advantage of the deepening economic crisis to maximize their profits, while workers pay with their lives and health.

ThyssenKrupp Steel’s Duisburg plant has reported two serious industrial accidents in the past eight weeks. A 26-year-old cleaner died in mid-October and a 23-year-old electrician was seriously injured just over a month later.

The electrician was crushed to death by a slab ferry weighing several tons in a furnace at the company’s hot-strip rolling mill at around 8pm on November 21. He was supposed to make repairs while continuing to operate. Contrary to the regulations, the young man was alone. The shift coordinator is said to have known that the plant manager had sent young electricians to make repairs.

It is unclear how long the critically injured 23-year-old lay at the scene of the accident before he was found. In the hospital, he fought for his life for over a week. He is said to be on the road to recovery now, but his health will be permanently damaged.

Workers demonstrate in Duisburg after Refat Süleyman’s death [Photo: WSWS]

More than a month ago, the young casual worker Refat Süleyman died under unexplained circumstances. On October 14, the 26-year-old suffocated to death in a basin of industrial waste, sludge and slag. He was only found three days after he went missing.

The police and the company works council have declared both cases “tragic accidents” for which the victims themselves are responsible. “We can exclude the possibility that someone else was responsible,” police spokesman Jonas Tepe said of the young electrician’s accident. Just as hastily done. In both cases the message was clear: the victims themselves were at fault.

Talk of “tragic accidents,” “human error,” etc. is an attempt to whitewash the system that caused these deaths and those who benefited. This year alone, Germany’s Thyssenkrupp Stahl has seen at least five fatal accidents, among others, some of which resulted in serious and permanent injuries.

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