Virus-fleeing family becomes victim of flood disaster
GÖKHAN KAM - BURSA
Search and rescue efforts continue as at least five people have died in floods caused by heavy rains in the northwestern province of Bursa, officials have said.
Those who lost their lives in the disaster were members of a family who had gone to the district of Kestel’s Kayacık village escaping central Bursa to seek shelter from the COVID-19 outbreak and had bought a house with a garden there, according to daily Milliyet.
The Bilen family was caught in the flood in the garden in the village, where they came to spend the weekend in isolation.
When the waters began flooding their garden, 32-year-old Ahmet Bilen, who took his twin daughters and his little son to his car, was flooded with his wife Türkan, 29, his daughter Madine, 10, his mother Hasibe, 55, and his niece Derya, 16.
The lifeless bodies of Ahmet Bilen, Türkan Bilen, Medina Bilen and Hasibe Bilen have been found as a result of search and rescue efforts, but Derya Bilen’s whereabouts are still not known.
Meticulous search and rescue operations for the missing person are being carried out in flood-hit areas by 257 personnel, including 134 gendarmeries.
“They escaped the virus and here they were spending time planting vegetables. When the flood came suddenly, the man saved three of his children, but then he was in the water trying to save his mother, wife, daughter and niece,” said Nuri Şimşek, a neighbor of the Bilen family.
The lifeless bodies of the Bilen family members were delivered to their relatives to be buried in their hometown in the eastern province of Bingöl.
Meanwhile, the fifth person who died in the disaster was determined to be a 22-year-old physically disabled woman who lived in Dudaklı.
Kader Akbaba was unable to leave her house and died after being trapped amid the waters.