Turkey charges four over deadly lift crash

 Prosecutors in Istanbul charged four construction workers with manslaughter on Thursday over a dramatic workplace accident that saw a lift in an unfinished luxury skyscraper plummet 32 storeys, killing 10.

AFP| Updated: Sep 11, 2014, 14:11 PM IST

Ankara: Prosecutors in Istanbul charged four construction workers with manslaughter on Thursday over a dramatic workplace accident that saw a lift in an unfinished luxury skyscraper plummet 32 storeys, killing 10.

A site manager and three lift repairers at the construction project were charged with "manslaughter of more than one person", according to Dogan news agency. 

Two others people -- the managing partners of the lift company and the construction company, respectively -- were released from custody after being banned from travel.

The building owner has vehemently denied any negligence.

The lift crash on Saturday, in the unfinished 42-floor Torunlar Centre tower going up on Istanbul`s European side, has drawn outrage over Turkey`s lax workplace safety measures.

Workers and witnesses have claimed that the elevator broke down two weeks ago, and that the brake mechanism was faulty. An investigation is under way. 

Riot police fired tear gas at a demonstration Sunday that drew more than 1,000 to the site in Istanbul`s upscale Mecidiyekoy, where Galatasaray football club`s Ali Sami Yen stadium had once stood.

In the face of protests, the government has promised "a plan of action" to improve workplace safety in Turkey, which holds the dubious distinction of having Europe`s highest rate of workplace fatalities, according to the International Labour Organisation.

In May, 301 miners died in the western town of Soma in Turkey`s worst-ever industrial accident. Most of the dead were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning.

In the past five years 1,754 construction workers have died in Turkey, figures from the Turkish statistics office show.