ÇORLU TRAIN DERAILMENT: Non-Prosecution for Drivers, Indictment for Four Railways Employees

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  • March 1, 2019
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The Çorlu Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has partly completed the investigation into the train derailment that happened in Çorlu, Tekirdağ on July 8, 2018 and claimed 25 lives.

Announcing that there is no need for an additional prosecution, the Prosecutor’s Office has given a verdict of non-prosecution on train drivers Halil Altınkaya and Suat Şahin, train chief Hüseyin Kahraman, the suspected senior executives of the Turkish State Railways (TCDD), politicians and bureaucrats on the ground of lack of evidence.

The Chief Public Prosecutor Galip Yılmaz Özkurşun conducted an investigation of “causing death or injury by negligence” against the mentioned people.

Indictment against four railways employees

The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has ruled that a bill of indictment upon Turkish Penal Code Article 85/2 shall be filed against four TCDD employees, Turgut Kurt, Celalettin Çabuk, Çetin Yıldırım and Özkan Polat.

The four TCDD employees will be charged with “causing death or injury by negligence” for their “essential fault in the accident,” according to the Prosecutor’s Office.

Turkish Penal Code Article 85/2

If the act executed results with death or injury of more than one person, the offender is punished with imprisonment from three years to fifteen years.

Drivers rejected allegations

Giving testimony to the Prosecutor’s Office after the incident, the train drivers said that there was no violation of speed limits, multiple trains on the day of the incident passed on the line where the accident happened, there was no negative opinions notified on the line.

The driver leaped up at the moment of the incident and it was seen on the side camera view that the train was derailed and the cars fell over, the drivers said.

The drivers also claimed as soon as they noticed an abnormality on the line, they applied emergency braking and prevented a long dragging distance. By this, they prevented more losses of lives, the drivers claimed.

The expert witness also said that the emergency braking reduced the heaviness of the incident.

(HA)