Students say no inspection, fire drill carried out before deadly fire at dorm
ADANAInspections and fire drills were not carried out before a deadly fire at a girls’ dormitory on Nov. 29 in the southern province of Adana’s Aladağ district, according to wounded students who survived the fire disaster.
Eleven children and one adult were killed, while 24 others were injured in the dormitory fire. While inspections and investigations continue over the deadly blaze, early reports suggest that major negligence caused the fire to erupt.
The students wounded in the fire told daily Cumhuriyet that no fire drills were carried out in the past two years and that the fire exit doors always remained locked.
“Our teachers briefed us on what to do in case of a fire, but there were no signs or instructions on what to do in a fire,” a wounded student said.
“I’ve never used the fire exit doors. I never went downstairs from the exit. The handle of the fire exit door on the second floor had been missing for the past two years. We were never given instructions on how to use the fire extinguisher. No one came to inspect the dormitory in the past two years,” she added.
Another student said fire drills were never conducted in the dormitory.
“We never carried out a fire drill in this dormitory. There were fire extinguishers in the dormitory but no signs to show us what to do in case of a fire. I don’t know how to use it and have never used it before,” she added.
The dorm was reportedly run by the Süleymancılar, a conservative religious group that evolved out of the Naqshbandi Sufi order, but has focused on religious education since late 1950’s.
Meanwhile, a local court on Dec. 4 ordered the arrest of six suspects over the deadly fire. Among the arrested suspects were dormitory manager Cumali Genç and the head of the Aladağ Aid Association for Courses and School Students, identified only as İsmail U.