Expert report reveals details of deadly fire

Expert report reveals details of deadly fire

İsmail Saymaz ISTANBUL- Radikal
Expert report reveals details of deadly fire

11 workers were killed in a tent that did not have an emergency exit during the fire that took place at a construction site in Istanbul’s Esenyurt district. AA photo

An expert report into an Istanbul fire at a mall construction site that killed 11 workers on March 13, 2012, shows that the dangers at the workplace had already been identified almost six months earlier.

The report includes some photographs that were taken on Sept. 21, 2011, by workplace safety and control expert Ömer Faruk Gülmez, who is among the 13 defendants in the court case.

In the photographs, it can be clearly seen that many electric heaters were used inside the giant tents, that the heaters were attached to the bunk beds, that there were extension cords lying underneath the bunk beds, that these extension cords were connected to each other and that the cords were lying in water on the ground.

Gülmez, a geological engineer, warned Kayı İnşaat, the construction company employing the workers, the day he took the pictures, saying: “There are no emergency exits in the dormitories in the event of a fire and there are no precautions taken against fire.” However, no measures were taken.

Emergency exit

Ultimately, the March 13 fire broke out due to poor electric installation, while the 11 workers who died were killed in a tent that did not have an emergency exit.

Kayı Construction was undertaking the construction of the MarmaraPark Mall as a subcontractor. Kayı, in turn, subcontracted Kaldem Company for some of the more basic construction procedures.

Meanwhile, workplace safety on the construction site was monitored by Miratek International Engineering and Consultancy Company, which was hired by Kayı.

The case has 13 defendants from four companies, five of whom are under arrest pending trial.