Negligence behind deadly dam accident, report says

Negligence behind deadly dam accident, report says

ERZURUM - Doğan News Agency
Experts investigating a controversial accident that killed five workers in a dam reservoir last month submitted an official report to the prosecutor’s office this week, accusing the primary firm responsible for the work and its sub-contractors of massive negligence.

The flood gates at the Karasu 2 hydro-electric dam in the Aşkale district of the eastern province of Erzurum were opened prior to the removal of four transmission towers located in the reservoir area, according to the report prepared by legal expert Fahrettin Korkmaz, civil engineer Halil Yıldız and electrician Barış Gerez.

The five workers who died on April 3 after their pedal boat capsized in the frozen dam reservoir were on their way to repair one of these towers, which transmit electricity to 29 villages in the area.

The company that built the dam seven years ago asked the Aras Electric Distribution Company to remove the transmission towers in 2010, but received no reply until 1.5 years later. Plans to remove the towers were approved as of Oct. 10, 2011, but no further steps were taken, according to the report.

The experts also implicated the firms for not providing adequate equipment, training or safety measures, or a backup plan for the workers, who arrived on the scene using a pedal boat they acquired from the municipality, the report said. It took about 2.5 hours for a rescue helicopter to arrive at the reservoir from the eastern province of Malatya.