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LOCAL > Two workers killed while disassembling ‘Love Boat’ in Turkey

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A prosecutor has opened a probe into the death of two workers who succumbed to smoke inhalation due to a plumbing fixture on Aug. 10 as they helped disassemble the MS Pacific, a famous cruise ship, which arrived in İzmir on Aug. 6.

The MS Pacific, a cruise ship made famous by its appearance in the popular U.S. 1970s television show “The Love Boat,” came to Turkey from Genoa after a difficult trip due to weather conditions. The ship was damaged and water filled its engine room because of a violent storm, Doğan News Agency reported.

Ten workers entered the engine room and were poisoned by smoke released from a plumbing fixture’s exhaust pipe while they were using to drain the water.

The workers affected by smoke were immediately taken to nearby hospitals, but two of them, Doğan Balcı, 37, and Davut Özdemir, 40, succumbed to the smoke poisoning. Nine other workers, Ahmet Acet, Yunus Yeşilkula, Osman Ay, Nuri Çetin, Durmuş Özdemir, Bekir Dinler, Teoman Işık, Muhsin Gedik and Salih Soysal were discharged from hospital on Sunday.

The bodies of the two workers were given to their families after autopsies.

An expert team will start an investigation to reveal the causes of the men’s death, Anadolu Agency reported.

Before the investigation starts, necessary gas measurements will be done and gas and water in the ship will be removed.

Balcı’s relatives said the poisoning was the second such incident to occur on the boat in the last week, noting that their relative had suffered from smoke inhalation on the first day of Eid al-Fitr on Aug. 8 while he was working in the same place, but had only been given outpatient treatment.

Balcı reportedly went to work on the third day of Eid despite his family’s warnings not to do so.

The vintage cruise ship arrived in the seaside town of Aliağa in Turkey late on Aug. 6 after the Izmir Ship Recycling Co. acquired the 42-year-old vessel for 2.5 million euros.

August/11/2013

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Brian Irlanda

8/13/2013 1:36:18 PM

Poor guys and their families. I have seen the most awful safety breaches while over in Turkey. The safety rules are actually in place, and they mirror most EU legislation, the problem is that Turkish workers do not take the necessary precautions for their own safety, whether that is lack of knowledge or Turks are big risk takers I do not know.

Michael Johnson

8/13/2013 12:58:25 PM

Basic principles of confined space entry were totally ignored in this scenario.

Soap box

8/13/2013 11:49:07 AM

@Thessolonian: just a guess, I suspect it was some kind of bilge pump, diesel powered that was pumping out standing water. Work place health and safety?! Pah!! Not even a nod to it, Turks seem to be happier with Darwinism than official H&S guidelines. Even if they did exist, I really wonder if they would ever be adhered to. I hate the American blame and claim culture, but TKY could benefit from a dose of it

john albay

8/11/2013 9:48:15 PM

may their souls rest in peace.

Thessalonian

8/11/2013 3:14:51 PM

"Ten workers entered the engine room and were poisoned by smoke released from a plumbing fixture’s exhaust pipe while they were using to drain the water." Could someone please translate the previous sentence? What is a plumbing fixture with an exhaust pipe that produces smoke which poisons people? And finally, aren't there no National Workplace Safety Rules and Regulations in place which if and when implemented would have proactively prevented this all too frequent in Turkey occurrence? Regards

Agnes Smith

8/11/2013 2:31:24 PM

Hope the families get compensation and let there be more attention in the future to breathing apparatus!
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