The rod speared the hips of the 33-year-old man. (Photo: Cihan)
Media outlets have reported that a 33-year-old man was seriously injured when a metal rod managed to enter a moving train car on the Sanayi Neighborhood-Seyrantepe line of İstanbul’s underground rail system, or metro, early Monday morning.
The incident took place at the Seyrantepe metro station in İstanbul’s Şişli district. A metal rod from a construction area at the station building entered the moving train and speared the hips of the man, identified as 33-year-old Fatih Çoban. He was taken to the Okmeydanı Research Hospital for surgery. Other passengers were safely evacuated.
Some eyewitnesses claimed emergency response teams were late in arriving to the scene. An Ekşi Sözlük user (one of Turkey’s most popular collaborative-content websites) with the user name “Night Fury” claimed to have been in one of the cars in a summary of the events the user posted on the website.
“We felt a vibration in the car. We didn’t even care at first, but the vibration increased and we pushed the panic button. The driver stopped the train. We were lucky that [the doors to the side of the cars were not blocked by] a wall. We were next to the construction area of the station. We asked for help from workers there and they helped us to get out of the car. The wounded man waited almost 30 minutes for emergency health teams. We asked the workers to call the doctor of construction team but they said there was no doctor or emergency team,” Night Fury wrote.
The Ekşi Sözlük user also added that it is not normal for construction crews to work underground without access to a doctor or emergency medical support.
Action Workers’ Syndicates Confederation (Aksiyon İş) President Vedat Öztürk, an occupational safety specialist and a civil engineer, spoke to Today’s Zaman about the accident and said the construction area exhibited negligence in terms of safety measures.
“The construction area and active train line must be separated with steel wire nets to prevent this kind of accident and [structural dangers].” Öztürk said.
He also pointed out that there was water in the tunnel, saying: “It is really dangerous not to drain the water from a construction area. Considering the fact that metro lines use high-voltage rails, this could create the risk of electric shock for construction workers. This also is another safety problem.”
Öztürk said the municipality and the construction company are responsible and called for an investigation into the incident.
The last month has seen a number of threats to public safety in Turkey’s transportation infrastructure. A pedestrian overpass over İstanbul’s E-5 highway — one of the two main highways in the city — collapsed on Sept. 3 when the top of a truck transporting fuel collided the structure, killing one person and injuring four others. An eyewitness said a similar accident had happened approximately a year-and-a-half ago in the same place. “It didn’t completely collapse that time, and they later repaired it,” he said.
Another incident in which pedestrian overpass collapsed in the Gebze district of Kocaeli province on Sept. 23 resulted in no deaths or injuries.
On Sept. 10, two women were killed and two others were injured when a tree fell in a tea garden in İstanbul’s Beykoz district. The manager of the tea garden, Recep Ateştepe, criticized the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality to media outlets.
“We have told [the municipality] at least 20 times in the last four to five years to cut the dead limbs off this tree as well as others in order to save them. They took pictures of this tree and others, but they didn’t come to cut them. Then last year, they brought a crane, but then said that the crane was not big enough to cut this particular wooded area.”
The investigation into the incident is ongoing.