10 workers killed in construction site accident in Istanbul

10 workers killed in construction site accident in Istanbul

10 workers killed in construction site accident in Istanbul

AA Photo

Ten workers were killed at a construction site in Istanbul when an elevator carrying them suddenly plunged to the ground from the 32th floor late on Sept. 6.

The accident occurred at the construction site of the Torunlar Center, which is being built on the former site of Galatasaray’s Ali Sami Yen Stadium in Şişli’s Mecidiyeköy neighborhood.

The elevator malfunctioned due to an unknown reason while the workers were trying to leave the construction at around 7:45 p.m. after the completion of their shift.

Paramedics, firefighters and search and rescue teams were rushed to the scene, recovering the bodies of 10 workers.

Eight officials from the company that are overseeing the construction were released by the prosecutors' office after being questioned.

Istanbul Gov. Hüseyin Avni Mutlu told reporters that some eight officials from the company that are overseeing the construction had been detained.

“The work should have ended at 7 p.m. The notice was delivered to firefighting teams at 7:45 p.m.,” Istanbul Gov. Hüseyin Avni Mutlu said, underlining that the accident happened after the set working period.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Sept. 7 called the workers' deaths "very painful and very saddening."
"The investigation will be carried out in detail," he told reporters in his home city of Konya in central Anatolia province.

The Governor’s Office has released the names of the workers killed in the accident as Tahir Kara, Hıdır Ali Genç, İsmail Sarıtaş, Bilal Bal, Cengiz Tatoğlu, Murat Usta, Menderes Meşe, Vahdet Biçer, Ferdi Kara and Cengiz Bilgi.

It has been claimed that the elevator broke down again around 15 days ago and that the repair work was awating funds from the budget.

There were also reports of police using violence to disperse people who were waiting in front of the site in the early hours of Sept. 7. Unions have called for marches and protests to the site during the day.

Torunlar GYO, the owner of the construction, has also released a statement, saying all work had been halted at the site and that a legal investigation had been opened into the accident.

Company denies repeated problems with elevators

Torunlar GYO Chairman Aziz Torun and Deputy General Manager Remzi Aydın made a press conference on Sept. 7 over the accident, denying claims of repeated problems on the elevators.

“This is completely a lie because on the site there are two officers from the company [Geda Major]
from which the elevators were rented and they intervene right away when there is a problem,” Torun said. “I used the same elevator a few days ago.”

Torun said the company would do what is necessary for the families of the workers and follow the legal process carefully while rejecting the company’s responsibility in causing the accident.

“The elevator is supposed to carry both humans and materials. It can carry 2,700 kilograms [of material] or 28 people,” he said. “The authorities and the prosecutor will decide on [the cause of the accident] following an expert report.”

Torun said subcontractors were probably carrying materials after the completion of their shift, saying the shift ends at 6 p.m. on weekends and 11 p.m. during weekdays.

He also hinted that the workers did not act carefully despite work safety measures, while noting that 1,500 workers were working on the site and that they all received occupational safety training.