In the accident that occurred on 13 December 2018 in Ankara, nine people, including three mechanics, died and 107 people were injured. A lawsuit was filed against 10 people, with a demand for imprisonment from two to 15 years, for 'causing the death and injury of more than one person'. Although the expert reports were found to be defective, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure did not give permission. İsa ApaydınAn investigation was not initiated.
Apaydın was heard as a witness in today's hearing of the case at the Ankara 30th High Criminal Court. The former general manager said that the signaling works continue on the line where the accident occurred, but the operation is carried out entirely with the Central Administration of Trains (TMI) system.
Recalling that it was claimed that one of the suspects, the switchman Osman Yıldırım, was assigned without training, Apaydın said::“Osman Yıldırım has been working at TCDD for 20 years. He was doing the same service in Samsun. His job here was easier. It's an easier job than a housewife running the washing machine. There is no such thing as lack of education. The scissors did not do his job. The driver also goes on Line 1 even though he knows Line 2 is open. So it's like running a red light. When this happens, an accident is inevitable. He sent three trains before the crashed train. He is sitting in the gentleman's cabin as the train passes. In other words, an accident is an accident that occurs as a result of human error. It is not related to the operating method.”
He found the fault in the mechanic and switchman.
The former manager stated that he did not agree with the allegation of lack of personnel and continued as follows: “Everything is clear in the legislation. Not everyone can run their own business. If he tries to do it, chaos will ensue. There was such a chaos that day. The central control system of traffic is a system that has been used for years. If the switchman had done his job correctly, if the mechanic hadn't made a mistake, this accident wouldn't have happened.”
Apaydın also answered the questions of the complainant and the defendant's lawyers. Attorney Özay Arıkan asked why sign systems should be used in the TMI system, but even why the marking system is not used.
He said that the marking system of Apaydın is under the responsibility of the High Speed Train Regional Directorate.
The former TCDD director gave the following answer to the question as to why the line was opened before the signaling system was completed and who made this decision: “The Kayaş-Sincan section is the main axis. So all trains use here. For about two years, we could not carry out suburban and intercity transportation on this line. This resulted in many complaints. It was a huge relief when we opened this place. Both revenue loss was prevented and customer satisfaction increased. There was no instruction from anyone to open the line. This is entirely the joint decision of TCDD management. No instructions were received from the Ministry of Transport or high-level bureaucrats regarding this issue.”
The black box will be examined
After hearing the other witnesses, the demands of the lawyers of the complainant and the accused were received. The defendant's attorney, Özay Arıkan, stated that the black box of the accident train was present in the file and requested that the black box be examined by an expert to determine the exact cause of the accident.
Announcing its interim decision after the demands, the court accepted the request for the black box of the train to be examined by the expert. It was decided to listen to some witnesses and complainants who were not heard and the hearing was postponed.