Pamukova Disaster or Pamukova Train Accident is a train accident that occurred on July 22, 2004 in Pamukova district of Sakarya. Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoğlu, which made an accelerated train journey between Ankara and Istanbul, derailed due to excessive speed, causing 230 deaths and 41 injuries from a total of 89 passengers. Accident, Republic of Turkey State Railways (TCDD), the ongoing privatization process on-site and brought to life in the first step of the new high-speed train project has occurred. The public reacted to the high-speed train application between the Ankara-Istanbul train line, which is the busiest line in terms of number of passengers, after the accident that occurred due to the hasty transition despite the insufficient infrastructure.
TCDD has been within the scope of privatization, especially since the 1980s, and successive governments have made various reforms in this institution. However, railways did not receive as much investment as highways in land transportation.
How The Accident Happened
After the accident, Prof. Dr. According to the report of the Scientific Committee formed under the chairmanship of Sıddık Binboğa Yarman, the accident took place as follows: After passing the Mekece Station, the train entered the bend with a radius of 345 meters at 132 kilometers / hour. The speed limit to be followed in the bend is 80 km. Due to the excessive speed, the left wheel of the second passenger car of the train derailed, and as a result of the derailment of the wagons connected to this wagon, the balance of the train was disrupted and it drifted rapidly and tilted. In the same report, it was stated that there were no warning signs and signs for the mechanics at the accident scene, the 5 hours and 15 minutes given for the total trip was not sufficient, and inappropriate infrastructure was also among the factors affecting the accident.
Intervention to Evidence at the Scene
In the case held at the Sakarya 2nd High Criminal Court, Salih Ekizler, the lawyer of the defendants, will claim that the pieces thrown from the wagons during the accident were taken from their places by TCDD officials immediately after the accident and thus the evidence was blackened.
Litigation process of Pamukova Train Accident
The case was heard at Sakarya 2nd High Criminal Court. Upon the conclusion of the case, 1st engineer Fikret Karabulut was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months in prison and 100 YTL fine, 2nd engineer Recep Sönmez to 1 year and 3 months in prison and a 333 YTL fine. Train Chief Köksal Coşkun is acquitted. In addition, the request of the Public Prosecutor to open an investigation against TCDD General Director Süleyman Karaman will be rejected by the Minister of Transport Binali Yıldırım.
In the case where only two engineers received small sentences, those responsible were not allowed to be investigated for the rails, which the expert found half defective. With the expert reports, it was revealed that behind the disaster was a high-speed train trial with old rails. A public case was opened in Sakarya 2nd High Criminal Court regarding the accident. In the expert report, the first engineer was found to be 8 in 3, the second engineer in 8, and 1 in the railway 8. While all invoices were issued to the machinists, chief engineer Fikret Karabalut was detained for 4 months, and the second engineer Recep Sönmez for 5 months. However, it could not be determined who the real fault was. Lawyers of those who lost their lives in the accident filed a criminal complaint to find the main criminals who contributed to the construction and use of the defective rails. The investigation order was canceled by the Council of State. In the second attempt, the court did not allow a new investigation, citing the Council of State as an example.
Court of Cassation overturned the penalties given in the accident 2 times
Sakarya 2. 1 2008 1 2 February 6 first case in the case seen in the High Criminal Court. mechanic Fikret Karabalut was sentenced to 1 years in prison for 3 years. The second mechanic Recep Sönmez was given 2 year XNUMX imprisonment. Train chief Köksal Coşkun was acquitted. The file has been moved to the Supreme Court. Supreme Court XNUMX. The Criminal Chamber overturned the decision due to lack of notification in the file. The local court had to go to the shortcomings and again the same penalties were given. The Supreme Court ruled the decision again.
The last hearing was on December 2, 2011. TCDD lawyer did not attend the hearing. The case was postponed to 5 February 7, since the statements of 2012 people, which should be taken by order, were not taken. This date was exactly two weeks after the statute of limitations expired. According to the laws, the statute of limitations for the crime of "causing death by negligence" is 7.5 years. As the statute of limitations in the case expired in the last week of January, the defendant's lawyers will request the case to be struck out of the statute of limitations. The court will also have to comply with this request.
In its statement on the anniversary of the accident, the United Transport Workers Union (BTS) emphasized that although TCDD was found guilty at the rate of 4/8, the administrators were not brought to justice. UCTEA Chamber of Mechanical Engineers Chairman Emin Koramaz criticized the Ministry of Transport and TCDD Management in his statement and stated that the technical warnings made before the accident were not taken into consideration. Koramaz, who also criticized the privatization policies implemented for years, stated that highways are protected against railways and that there is no investment in rail transport.