Potato warehouse collapse kills two in Turkey’s potato capital Niğde

During the construction of an underground potato storage facility in the central Anatolian province of Niğde, Turkey’s largest potato producer, a fatal collapse resulted in two deaths while leaving four wounded.

Duvar English

A collapse during the construction of an underground potato warehouse in Niğde, central Anatolia, claimed two lives and left four injured, three of them severely, the Demirören News Agency reported on April 8.

The incident in the rural Çarıklı village trapped a total of six workers.

Following the arrival of emergency services, two workers were pronounced dead upon extraction from the rubble. The remaining four were transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.

"While an underground potato warehouse was being built, the air pressure caused by the collapse tossed the workers working inside out," Governor Cahit Çelik said while visiting the injured at the hospital, adding that detentions related to the incident have not yet occurred.

Çelik further emphasized the importance of properly constructing underground potato warehouses in the area to prevent cave-ins.

Niğde is Turkey’s largest potato producer, responsible for over 13% of the country’s potato harvest in 2023, according to official statistics.

Nearly 2,000 work-related deaths occurred in Turkey in 2023, according to a report by the Health and Safety Labour Watch of Turkey (İSİG). Additionally, Turkey was considered one of the worst countries in the world for workers in 2023.

(English version by Wouter Massink)