Eleven people were injured in a metrobus accident in the Acıbadem neighborhood of Istanbul on Sept. 23 after a passenger hit the driver with an umbrella during a quarrel.
According to witnesses, the passenger got into an argument with the driver Recai Türkoğlu over the opening of the doors at the Acıbadem stop, heading in the direction of the Kadıköy district, at around 8:30 a.m.
Witnesses also said the passenger, identified only as Murat A., hit Türkoğlu in the head with an umbrella, causing him to lose control of the wheel and swerve out of the lane.
After careering out of its lane, the metrobus drove over three vehicles on the D-100 motorway and only stopped after crashing into a public bus.
Eleven people, including Türkoğlu, were injured in the accident.
Health and rescue teams were immediately dispatched to the scene and the wounded were rushed to nearby hospitals.
The crashed metrobus was lifted from the scene with a crane two hours after the accident, which brought traffic to a standstill during the rush hour on Istanbul’s Asian side.
An investigation into the incident is reportedly ongoing, and police have detained Murat A.
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The Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) Mechanical Engineers Chamber in Istanbul issued a press release after the accident, saying the “main actor responsible” was the municipality and the government, which both failed to take security measures long recommended by the chamber.
It said the accident showed that necessary measures were still not being taken despite repeated warnings about metrobus lines, which were first introduced to “ease traffic.”
The TMMOB statement referred to its 2008 report in which it stated that “despite infrastructure and vehicle investments, parallel bus, minibus and dolmuş [shared taxi] lines continue to operate. As parts of the E-5 road have been reserved for the metrobus, vehicle traffic on the road will intensify to a great extent.”
That report also warned that the intensified weight of metrobuses, converted from regular buses with only minor adjustments, would increase the risk of wheels going out of the driver’s control.
The statement said such accidents showed that these warnings were still valid and that similar incidents would continue. It recommended that the city authorities stop using “ineffective” metrobuses and instead adopt “normal and rapid transport systems that are dependent on rail and that work coherently with bus lines, minibus lines, dolmuş lines and water transportation methods.”