One worker killed, one injured after landslide at construction site in Turkey’s west
AA PhotoA 32-year-old heavy construction equipment operator, who got trapped inside a tunnel construction site for a hydroelectric power plant (HES) in Turkey’s western province of Kütahya, was found dead May 19, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Enser Akay was trapped around 150 meters from the entrance of the 1,900-meter tunnel being built for a HES project near the Karaköy village of Kütahya’s Domaniç district after a landslide occurred at 7:30 p.m. on May 17.
25-year-old Resul Demir, who was in the tunnel with Akay during the landslide, managed to pull himself out of the tunnel, though with a head injury. Demir was hospitalized in nearby and his medical condition was reported to be improving.
Akay’s dead body was recovered at the 107th meter of the tunnel’s entrance. Akay’s body will be sent to his hometown Giresun for burial.
Kütahya Governor Şerif Yılmaz said late May 18 that they had assessed that Akay was under the wreckage after the landslide occurred inside the tunnel.
“The accident happened when two people were working [inside the tunnel]. One person evacuated the tunnel during the incident. We asses that one person is under the wreckage right now,” said Yılmaz late May 18 at the site.
Rescue efforts to save Akay, who was married with three children, were conducted by teams from the Search and Rescue Association (AKUT), the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), the Turkish Ministry of Health National Medical Rescue Team (UMKE) and a local rescue team from the town of Tunçbilek.
Some workers, who spoke on anonymity, told Doğan News Agency that the area was a landslide-prone area and similar incidents had occurred several times before inside the tunnel.
Relatives of Akay said he had gone to Istanbul, where his siblings resided, after his job was completed at the tunnel construction site.
His relatives said company officials had called Akay and told him there was urgent work to be done in the tunnel, saying he should rent a car and drive to the construction site immediately.
“We drove him and left him here around 7:00 p.m., when they asked him immediately to enter the tunnel. We were on our way back to Istanbul when we heard about the landslide,” relatives told Doğan News Agency.