One man goes missing as pavement collapses
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
The collapse happened on one of the main roads in Ankara, right before a massive construction work started for the subway. AA photoA subway construction collapsed early Friday in the heart of the capital city and one person walking on the pavement was believed to be trapped underneath the rubble. Despite hours-long search and rescue efforts authorities could not confirm information regarding a missing person when the Hürriyet Daily News went to print.
The collapsed occurred at 6.50 a.m. on İnönü Boulevard, one of the main roads in downtown Ankara, according to the Transportation Ministry, which was set to begin a massive construction work on Saturday to finish the Çayyolu-Kızılay subway project. Though the Ankara Municipality began constructing the line in early 2000 and opened the tunnel to traffic, it had to hand over the project to the Transportation Ministry early this year. It is largely estimated that the collapse was a result of an underground work that had started nearly 10 years ago but was left unfinished.
The collapse caused a two-meter hole in the pavement right in front of the Air Force Headquarters resulting in the closure of the Inönü Boulevard to both pedestrians and vehicles. The surrounding neighborhood is home to many state buildings, like the Chief of General Staff, Naval Forces Headquarters, the Parliament and multiple ministries.
The only statement about the incident came from the Transportation Ministry. The Ankara Greater Municipality did not issue a statement about the incident and the ministry’s statement did not confirm that one person was missing.
Eyewitnesses said they saw one person fall into the rubble during the collapse, but as city security cameras do not record the collapsed area this information could not be confirmed by authorities.
A large traffic jam occurred following the collapse due to the incidents location in the city center on one of the main roads in Ankara. Some considered the traffic jam a hint at what will happen in Ankara in the next two days when the same road is set to be closed for three months for metro construction.
The Ankara Metro Project began in the early 1990’s under former mayor Murat Karayalçın. The project’s first phase, called “light railway,” was quickly finalized and began to carry passengers. Melih Gökçek won local elections 18 years ago and took over the metro project. The media often reported that the Gökçek administration had slowed down work on the project. Despite numerous announcements from Gökçek that construction would continue and that the metro would reach the peripheries of Ankara his statements failed to speed up with the project’s progress.