Bridge collapse leaves one dead, 14 missing
One of the relatives of the missing fell into the creek on April 7, yet he was saved by the rescue teams right after the incident.Search teams have discovered the body of one person who was swept away in the Filyos creek, after a bridge over the waterway collapsed in the northern province of Zonguldak on April 6. The rescue operation for 14 still missing continues.
The Çaycuma Bridge over the Filyos Creek collapsed around 4 p.m. on April 6. One minibus, one automobile and five pedestrians crossing the bridge were swept away in the water below. Two passengers in the automobile were rescued the same day, while 14 remained missing.
Search teams found the body of one person 8 kilometers downstream from the collapsed bridge in Saltukova district yesterday at around 10:30 a.m.
The identity of the victim was announced as Meryem Başören, yet the search still continues for the remaining 14 missing people. The shutters of a hydroelectric dam in Karabuk were closed as part of the rescue operation, in order to lower the water level of the river.
Labor Minister Faruk Çelik said on April 7 that the cause for the collapse was the increasing overflow of the creek.
“The high flow rate of the creek eroded the bridge’s foundations,” Minister Çelik said.
Among the missing are the father and nephew of Çaycuma Mayor Mithat Gülşen, who were in the minibus at the time of the incident. Gülşen said he was always aware that the bridge could collapse anytime.
Meanwhile, Kubilay Kaptan, an academic from Disaster Coordination Center at Istanbul Aydın University announced that the General Directorate for Highways was fully responsible from the incident.
“The 61 year old bridge collapsed due to lack of repair work.
The directorate ignored the warnings and reports on the issue. Although a new bridge was constructed right next to the collapsed one, they still did not close the old one and kept using it,” he said.
Seyfi Baysal, a survivor of the incident, said they heard the bridge cracking while they were driving over it so they began to drive faster, but the bridge collapsed before they reached the other side.
“There were two of us in the vehicle, and our car was floating in the river. We rolled down the windows to get out, but the car filled with water. My friend’s arm was dislocated after the fall but somehow we managed to make land,” Baysal told the Anatolia News Agency. The accident was foreshadowed by an online local magazine according to reports.
Apparently, the editor of Çaycuma Sanat (Çaycuma Art), Mevlüt Kırnapçı, wrote on March 20 about the high flow rate of the creek and warned officials to take necessary measures.
Compiled from Doğan News Agency and Anatolian News Agency stories by the Daily News staff in