Firm blazes new trail in posthumous insurance

Firm blazes new trail in posthumous insurance

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Firm blazes new trail in posthumous insurance

The body of one of the workers, Hamet Keskin, 47 was buried in the Black Sea province of Bartın yesterday, while the rest wereburied in their respective hometowns.

Officials from a company have posthumously insured two laborers who died March 11 in a fire that broke out at a construction site in Istanbul’s Esenyurt district.

“The employer’s representative hurriedly insured [the workers] while a fatal [disaster] was underway there... The two [workers], who had been working in Istanbul for three months, were insured over the Internet on Sunday after the incident,” said Dr. Bülent Kerimoğlu who reportedly arrived on the scene to help after receiving news of the fire. 

Fatih Acar, the head of the Social Security Institution (SGK), confirmed the two workers in question had been insured after the fire.

“[We] have determined that the statements of insured employment for workers Sevdin Özen and Çetin Coşkun, who lost their lives in an occupational accident, were entered through the e-statement system at 22.43 and 22.51 on March 11, the day of the accident,” Acar was quoted as saying by Anatolia news agency. 

A total of 11 workers were killed inside tents at the construction site of a new mall called Marmara Park in Esenyurt. The blaze reportedly started in one of the tents at around 9 p.m. and quickly swept through the entire site, engulfing the workers in their sleep.

Kerimoğlu said he witnessed company officials talking about which workers had insurance once he arrived on the scene. Kerimoğlu then reportedly called the workers’ acquaintances to acquire their identity numbers, which he then used to lodge an inquiry with SGK officials to determine whether or not they were insured. 

The doctor learned that the official registry indicated that Özen, 28, and Coşkun, 42, had just started work on the day the fire broke out, daily Vatan reported.

“It is impossible to insure someone who is no longer alive. This might have been done, however, as the Forensic Medicine Institute had not yet conducted an examination,” Kerimoğlu said. 

Police detained 11 people on March 12 in connection with the incident, while Istanbul Gov. Hüseyin Avni Mutlu said it was highly probably that the fire was caused by electrically operated heaters. 

Meanwhile, the bodies of some of the workers were laid to rest in their respective hometowns. İsa Topal, 22, was buried in the Black Sea province of Samsun, while Bayram Egepehlivan, 48, was laid to rest in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas in a ceremony that drew local officials. Ahmet Keskin, 47, Barış Kıyak, 30, and Hakim Alican, 46, were also buried in Bartın, Muğla and Istanbul, respectively. 
Officials who investigated the site announced that the tents were not made from fire-resistant material and lacked exit doors on both sides. 

The workers were employed by Kayı Construction, a subcontractor of ECE Türkiye, the Turkish branch of the German-based ECE company, according to reports. 

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