The plight of the injured
Be it a terror attack, a mine disaster or a traffic accident, whenever there is a fatal incident, we always focus on the dead. We count how many people have died; we assume the injured have been “saved.”
As a matter of fact, the condition of the injured is sometimes worse than the dead. While we assume that they survived with a couple of scratches, they might have to continue their lives after losing their limbs; some of them cannot even make it out of a coma. But we do not quite focus on that aspect.
A few months ago, because of a natural gas explosion in an apartment in Istanbul’s Cihangir neighborhood, a street vendor selling the Turkish bagel “simit” died. Everybody felt sorry for this simit seller. As a matter of fact, there was another person injured in the explosion, taxi driver Veysi Bulut.
Bulut had a cerebral hemorrhage; his vertebral bone was broken. He has not been able to move for months and is unconscious. Bulut is 33 years old and has three kids aged 13, 10 and 18 months. Bulut was an intercity carrier; he had two trucks. He owned his taxi but its license plate was leased. On the weekends, he would take over the taxi so that his driver could take time off and spend time with his family. At the time of the explosion, debris falling from the building landed on his vehicle.
His family is shattered. His wife is a housewife; she does not have any income. They live in a rented house. To pay their expenses, the taxi was sold. His brother Mehmet Bulut put his own house up for sale.
Veysi Bulut is being treated at a state hospital but their money is just not enough for expenses. The family pays for the medication. They turned their house into a mini hospital to prepare for his discharge. The office of the district governor bought the special bed for 2,000 Turkish Liras. They also helped provide 200 liras for food and the children’s clothes.
Bulut is a bed-bound patient with contracted arms and legs, a hole in his throat and no consciousness.
The state hospital wants to discharge him, but the family wants him to be transferred to a university hospital for, they believe, better treatment, but there is no place available.
The kids are devastated; they cannot focus on schoolwork. The family is begging for the children to continue school. They visit their father regularly, tell him they are there beside him and that he will get over this.
Their mother is torn between looking after the children and her husband. Bulut’s father is distressed.
Bulut is a very-much loved person. His former taxi driver visits every day; the drivers of his transport trucks do not want to receive their salaries.
According to the indictment prepared by the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office, the owner of the apartment, two İGDAŞ officers and one technical person have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and injury with a demand for 15 years in prison.
The owner of the house had not declared the change of a gas stove and a heater to İGDAŞ. A few days ago before the explosion, people living downstairs called İGDAŞ because they smelled gas. İGDAŞ came and said, “There is nothing we can do; you have to call an electrician.”
In other words, the perpetrators are known. The case will start in February 2017. Taking into consideration the pace of justice in our country, this case will last for years. What will happen to Veysi Bulut and his family? Who will help them?