Inter Law – accident in turkey kills twenty

accident in turkey kills twenty Twenty people were killed and over hundred injured in a powerful explosion in Turkey on Thursday. The explosion happened in a five-storey building in Istanbul, home to an unlicensed fireworks factory. Among the injured at least eight were seriously injured.

This was not the first time people were killed in workplace accidents in Turkey. The country has many unlicensed businesses that often fail to follow health and safety regulations.

The explosion on Thursday caused massive destruction. Buildings on the opposite side of the road had their windows shattered and cars parked nearby were destroyed. The explosion is thought to have started with a small fire that started a chain reaction and spread to the fireworks.

“The walls of the building began to swell from the pressure inside, then there was a big bang and the building collapsed,” Ahmet Unal, a turner at a nearby workshop, told Anatolia news agency.

Eight of those who died in the accident were onlookers who watched the fire from outside.

“White smoke was rising into the sky from the factory as we came to the front of the building. People were running around. I helped carry out six injured people,” said a witness to CNN-Turk. He had heard two explosions from his nearby workplace and run out to watch the tragedy.

Immediately after the explosion there were fears that it had been caused by a bomb. Several extremist groups operate in Turkey and as recently as last month six people were killed and dozens injured by a bomb explosion in Diyarbakir in the southeast of Turkey. The authorities blamed it on separatist militants of the outlawed Kurdistan. But the authorities soon ruled out that Thursday’s explosion was caused by a terrorist attack.

The accident is more likely to have happened because of negligence of work health and safety regulations. A shoemaker nearby blamed the accident on the authorities lack to crack down on unlicensed businesses in the area.

“Everything except bombs is being freely manufactured here,” he said, to news agency AFP.
 
There were more than 130 workshops and offices in the building where the blast occurred. Except from the fireworks factory it housed several small businesses, among them a denim bleacher and paint manufacturers. The authorities had shut down the denim bleacher earlier because it failed to meet safety regulations. It nevertheless continued its business. It is not yet established what caused the blast. Some news agencies reports that it was started by a fire in the denim bleacher while other report that it was thought to have started by a gas leak in the buildings boiler room.

According to the news agency Anatolia, the authorities in the part of Istanbul where the building was located, said they were unaware that it housed illegal tenants.

This was not the first time people were killed by explosions in firework factories in Turkey. In 2005 seven people were killed in a similar accident in Istanbul and in 2006 two people were killed in Karaman in the central parts of Turkey.

Health and safety is poor at many workplaces in Turkey. From Istanbul along the Sea of Marmar there are thousands of factories producing all kinds of goods. According to union officials many of the factories expose their workers to high levels of pollutions that causes deaths and diseases. The ministry of labour in Turkey has extensive regulations on work health and safety but they are many times poorly followed.

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