Turkish teen’s life turns to hell after confusing radioactive material for prayer beads
The life of a teen in western Turkey has changed since finding radioactive material, which he had thought were prayer beads.
Eyüp Bapun from Turkey’s Sakarya province was working on the construction of a hydropower plant when he found a piece of metal on the floor, reported daily Habertürk on July 31.
Thinking they were prayer beads, he put them in his pocket.
The metal was actually iridium-192, a radioactive material, that had fallen off from an x-ray machine used in the construction.
Bapun’s neighborhood was briefly quarantined by nuclear experts, while he spent the past 15 months at the Gülhane Military Hospital in Ankara for treatment.
After losing two fingers, Bapun’s hands and feet were saved by doctors, but he was categorized as 80 percent disabled, which rendered him “retired due to disability” at only 18 years old.
“I was working at a young age to pay for the medication expenses of my father, who died while I was in the hospital. What really saddened me was the response of the company that builds the dam. Far from paying me any compensation, they even sued me for attempting to steal the radioactive material. Even the judge had been surprised at their petition,” Bapun told the newspaper.