Police broadens probe into fire that killed 11 workers in Istanbul
AA photoNumber of suspects detained by the police increased to 11 after police detained six more people today after a fire killed 11 workers sleeping in their tents at a construction site in Istanbul late yesterday, broadcaster NTV reported.
The construction site supervisor and work safety chief were among those detained.
The workers were employed by Kayı construction, a subcontractor of ECE Türkiye, the Turkish branch of the Germany-based ECE company, daily Evrensel reported on its website. They were working at the construction of a new mall called Marmara Park in Istanbul's Esenyurt district.
The fire erupted at around 9 p.m. yesterday in one of the tents and soon spread through the entire site, engulfing the workers in their sleep. Some workers reportedly died due to the fire while others died of smoke inhalation.
Witnesses at the construction site said workers from Van, who migrated to Istanbul after the eastern province was struck by a powerful earthquake in October, were among those killed.
One worker suggested the electric heaters in the tents might have been a cause for the fire although Esenyurt Mayor Necmi Kadıoğlu said authorities had determined that the blaze started in the tent's kitchen, daily Hürriyet reported.
Labor and Social Security Minister Faruk Çelik said they were told there were three electric heaters in one tent. "We need to find out how many workers were staying in one tent. We are investigating the incident to understand the extent of negligence."
Çelik also said they were looking into the problems that occurred during the emergency evacuation.
The minister said they were also checking to see whether the plastic covering the tents was in accordance with regulations.