Scrap Yard Workers Killed on Board “Love Boat”

love boat izmir scrapyardAccording to Turkish media, two workers from the Izmir Ship Recycling Co. in Turkey were killed, and nine others injured while working to dismantle the MS Princess (also known as The Love Boat).

The Hurriyet Daily News reports that DoÄŸan Balcı, 37, and Davut Özdemir, 40, died from smoke inhalation.  Nine other workers, Ahmet Acet, Yunus YeÅŸilkula, Osman Ay, Nuri Çetin, DurmuÅŸ Özdemir, Bekir Dinler, Teoman Işık, Muhsin Gedik and Salih Soysal were discharged from hospital on Sunday, according to their report.

Other reports indicate the “smoke” may have been Freon, an inert, odorless gas used as a refrigerant.

Haberler.com reports that Freon gas had leaked from an air conditioner in the ship.  They quote the relative of the deceased DoÄŸan Balci saying: “Dogan came over to our house on the second day of Eid and said he had been exposed to poison at work along with three others. However, they were given a yogurt drink by their employer instead of being taken to a hospital. He had complained about pain in his foot.” The report notes that he returned to work the next day, and later died.

Suggesting it was Freon gas poisoning seems a bit unlikely however, because had a large quantity of Freon leaked into the space they were in, Mr. Balci would likely have not returned home that evening, or anyone else in that space for that matter, as they all would have likely suffocated.

What seems to have happened, is that the deceased were using a gasoline or diesel-powered pump to de-water the engine room, which was not sufficiently ventilated, and the workers succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning from the exhaust fumes.