‘Negligence’ behind deadly girl Adana dormitory fire
ADANA – Anadolu Agency
AA photoThe funerals of 12 victims who lost their lives in a fire at a girls’ dormitory in the Aladağ district of the southern province of Adana were held on Dec. 1 amid initial signals from the investigation that the deadly incident occurred due to negligence.
The bodies of the victims, taken from Adana Graveyard’s morgue, headed to their final destinations early on Dec. 1 with a convoy.
The bodies of the victims were identified as Fatma Canatan, 20; Cennet Karataş, 10; Tuğba Aydoğdu, 10; Bahtınur Baş, 10; Nurgül Pertlek, 11; Gamze Bagır, 12; İlknur Maden, 12; Sümeyye Yetim, 12; Sema Nur Aydoğdu, 13; Sevim Köylü, 13; Zeliha Avcı, 13; and Sare Betül Genç, 6.
While the bodies of Genç and dorm staff member Canatan were taken to Tarsus, the bodies of the 10 other girl students were taken to the mountain villages of Köprücük, Kışlak and Karahan under tough road conditions.
Supervisor of the dorm Cumali Genç, who was detained after the incident, was given special permission to leave the jail and to join the ceremony of his daughter, Sare Betül Genç.
Meanwhile, as part of a probe launched into the fire by Aladağ prosecutors, the initial crime scene investigations by experts who are specialized in the fields of construction, electricity, mechanical and work safety showed evidence that negligence in various areas had led to the incident.
According to the document, construction expert Kazım Şimşek said he had made all observations to find the cause of the fire, adding that he thought it began due to reasons related to a second electricity box on the entrance floor of the building.
Şimşek said the building was not constructed in line with specifications and that its interior was designed in a way that accelerated the spread of the fire.
Electricity expert Muharrem Eşsizoğlu said he thought the fire might have been ignited due to the electricity distribution box that was located behind the main box, adding that the possible expiration of the switches inside the box might have caused the fire to begin.
“I have detected that there was no residual current device in the building’s electric system that would cut the building’s electricity in case of any leakages,” said Eşsizoğlu.
Work safety and electricity expert Ahmet Bülbül also said, “I think the fire was caused after the sofa, rug and wooden covers on the walls that were right under the electricity box caught fire due to sparks.”
Mechanical and work safety expert Hasan İhsan Pepedil said there were no signs in the building leading to emergency exit doors and that the emergency exit door should not have caught fire for 90 minutes but caught fire as well because it was made of plastic.
The document added that the fire exit door on the first floor of the building did not have handles on it as they had been removed before the incident.
Pepedil also said the building was not constructed in accordance with fire safety regulations.
The experts’ observation document also added that there was a surveillance system at the entrance of the building but that it was deactivated after the dorm was converted from a boys’ dorm to a girls’ dorm.