Worker injured in silo explosion dies in hospital

Worker injured in silo explosion dies in hospital

Worker injured in silo explosion dies in hospital

One of the workers who got severely injured in the explosion at the Turkish Grain Board (TMO) silos in the northwestern province of Kocaeli lost his life on Aug. 9 while receiving treatment in the hospital.

Five of the 12 workers injured in the incident that occurred while transferring wheat from a ship to the silo in Kocaeli’s Derince district, five were discharged from the hospital on Aug. 8.

However, 20-year-old Ekrem Kalkan, who was intubated on the first day he was brought to the hospital, lost his life on Aug. 9.

The cause of the incident was determined as a wheat dust explosion, while it was also learned that minor explosions had been reported at TMO and other grain depots previously.

The recent explosion was stated to be the largest at TMO, the authorities revealed. The prosecutor’s office has started to carry out a detailed analysis of all security cameras located at the port, which operates 24/7.

Additionally, the authorities reported that there are ventilation and dust collection systems in the storage area and that they were working actively during the incident, adding that technical personnel check the systems every two hours.

On the question of whether the explosion at the port, where security measures are at the highest level, could have been intervened from the inside, TMO General Manager Ahmet Güldal stated that an evaluation will be made without ignoring the possibility of internal misconduct or sabotage.

On the other hand, the Presidential Communications Directorate denied the claims of some media outlets that 8 million tons of stocks were destroyed after the explosion.

In a statement issued on Aug. 8, the office clarified that the total capacity of the TMO Derince Port silos is 95,000 tons, as the silos had 75,000 tons of stock during the incident.

“According to the initial examinations, some 20 percent of the storage was damaged,” the statement said, adding that the explosion damaged 13 of 60 silos.

In response to concerns about the explosion causing a possible shortage in Türkiye's wheat supply, Agriculture and Forestry Minister İbrahim Yumaklı noted that the country's total annual production is approximately 22 million tons and a loss of 15,000 tons would not pose a problem for stocks.

Ali Kırali, the general manager of Türkiye’s Product Specialized Exchange, added that the damaged products from the explosion would not lead to a change in domestic grain prices. He noted that the affected grain stock is quite limited when compared to Türkiye’s overall harvest.