Five-year-old killed after car falls from ferry in Istanbul
AA PhotoA five year-old girl was killed and three women were injured when a car fell into sea while boarding a ferryboat in Istanbul on March 15.
The accident took place at around 03.20 p.m. at Istanbul’s Sirkeci port, as the last vehicle - carrying four people and boarding the ferry traveling to the Harem port - dropped into the water while boarding.
According to eyewitnesses, the last car onboard the Sirkeci-Harem ferry was on the hatchway when the ship started to move. However, the hatchway was not closed properly and the car slid back, hanging from the lid for some time before falling into the sea.
Two women, Ebru Güleren Yılmaz, the mother of the five-year-old child, and Mine Dalkılıç, managed to escape the car before it completely sank. The grandmother, Şaziye Güleren, and the child, Ece Su Yılmaz, were rescued after divers arrived at the scene.
“I jumped into the sea to save them, but the girl slipped from my hand. The naval police then arrived and saved them,” said eyewitness Gürkan Sünbelli.
However, although the child was alive when divers took her from the water, she lost her life after being taken to hospital. Her body has now been sent to the forensic medicine department.
Yılmaz and Dalkılıç have been released from hospital after initial treatment, while the grandmother is being kept in intensive care.
The car has been recovered from the water by a fire department crane.
Transport Minister Lütfü Elvan has announced that an investigation has been launched.
Prosecutors have demanded the captain of the ferry and two personnel to be arrested for reckless homicide, but the court has released the three. The captain was banned from travelling abroad by the court.
The Istanbul Fast Ferries Co. Inc. (İDO) has released a statement extending its condolences to the family.
Many people have previously criticized ferry operators for allowing cars to remain on the ferries’ lids during journeys.