Worker dies on İstanbul third airport construction site hours before opening

A construction worker died on Sunday on site of İstanbul’s third airport project, hours before the opening ceremony to be led by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkish left-wing website reported.

The worker, whose name has not been identified, died after falling from heights, the site said.

The latest accident follows the injury of two workers on Oct. 27, after an electrical panel exploded in one of the airports parking lots.

A string of workers strikes, the biggest of which took place on Sept. 14, which were sparked by what the workers say are irregularities in pay, lack of medical supplies and unhygienic on site living conditions, have cast a shadow on the project. Turkish police and gendarmes responded to the protest by detaining 543 people, including workers and trade union representatives.

The airport’s construction has also been mired in controversy over the environmental damage and accusations that a rush to meet the end of October 29 deadline costing the lives of dozens, possibly hundreds, of workers. 

The airport, which is yet to be officially named, is one of largest in the world and set to be fully functional over the next decade. It will have six runways and take in 200 million passengers per annum when complete.