It has been exactly 60 years since dozens of people who lost their lives by being under a plane in the heart of Ankara left us. On February 1, 1963, on the first day of Ramadan, thousands of people were rushing to prepare iftar in Ulus, the heart of Ankara.
A Lebanese Middle East Airlines passenger plane, Esenboga AirportIt asks for permission to land. This landing happens minutes later, but in a rather tragic way. The flight crew on the C-47 military transport plane, on the other hand, were unaware of the disaster that would occur while performing the training flight over Ankara.
This is what most people living in Ankara do not know today. plane disasterIt is considered one of the biggest disasters in Turkey. According to the witnesses, the situation was not limited to the plane disaster. This accident, which also caused a great fire in the middle of the city, resulted in the death of many innocent people.
It was Friday, the first day of Ramadan and Ankara had a very clear weather that day.
As everyone went to work and school in their usual hustle and bustle, no one knew that there would be a terrible accident that would take the lives of 120 people that day. Owned by Lebanese Middle East Airlines Vickers 754D type passenger aircraftwas preparing to land at Ankara Esenboğa Airport with its 15 passengers. At the same time, taking off over the Etimesgut district, Rod 28 military aircraft He also completed the training flight and turned his route to the airport. While these events were taking place, the clocks showed 16:00. At this very moment, a tragic accident occurred in the heart of Ankara.
The passenger plane that made the Beirut-Nicosia-Ankara expedition and the C-47 transport plane of the Turkish Air Force collided between Ankara Altindag Ridges and Hisartepesi that day.
Before the collision, the passenger plane was about 250 km, The C-47 also had a speed of about 222 km. The accident occurred when the passenger plane crashed into the C-47 from the left rear tail at 2133 meters, as the passenger plane dropped its altitude.
The passenger plane that noticed the C-47 at the last moment Unfortunately, the efforts of the pilots to hug the crowbars and lift the plane again were not enough.
The black smoke, heard all over Ankara and flowing into the sky with human cries, almost formed the silhouette of the city.
The event took place Government Street was entangled. People are running around trying to figure out what’s going on; The falling parts of the plane also caused heavy damage to the buildings and caused a fire. Just across the street from the entrance was the construction of the building that would later be used as the Ministry of Rural Affairs. The 7-8 storey building had become a skeleton consisting of columns and beams.
On the first day of the month, hundreds of people who were on the streets to take their salary and do Ramadan shopping were the targets of the pieces that broke off from the plane.
Large parts of the military plane fell on the houses in the Yeni Hayat Mahallesi in Bentderesi, and 5 people in these houses were killed and 2 children were injured. Passenger aircraft and parts It had fallen to the nation and its environs. Passengers were literally thrown out through the slit opened in the fuselage of the plane.
Among the passengers, The wife of the Saudi Arabian ambassador is on the roof of Belli Apartment near Anafartalar Hospital.The bodies of their children were found in front of the Berlin Hotel. The mutilated body of the British pilot was found on the upper floor of the Trade Inn. The dead bodies of hundreds of more familiar or unfamiliar people were on the streets of Ulus.
Since the plane had a propeller, its fuel was gasoline. Gasoline also caught fire, causing a fire that affected buildings.
More human casualties were among those found on the ground. Since it is the first day of Ramadan, the number of people shopping in the bazaar and in the street and the time of the afternoon prayer to be held in the nearby Hacı Bayram and Zincirli Mosques was enough to create a large crowd.
At the junction of the street where the plane crashed, there were two banks: Garanti and Istanbul Bank. Especially the doors and windows of the Bank of Istanbul were barred; There was no emergency exit door. Unfortunately, none of those caught in the accident could save themselves from being burned. The number of burned and damaged workplaces was more than 40.
Identification of the bodies could not be made.
Although the number of people who died at first was said to be 80, this number was later said to be 80. It went up to 120. Hundreds of people wandering around on the street, enjoying the beautiful weather thinking how beautiful it is to live, fell victim to an accident unknowingly.
The funeral was held 4 days after the accident. There were 87 coffins in the funeral cortege, which was directed to Cebeci Asri Cemetery after the funeral prayer and ceremony held at the Hacı Bayram Mosque.
After the accident, our pilots were not informed about the presence of another aircraft in the region by Middle East Airlines officials. Our pilots did not have any faults in this accident”.
In the expert report made immediately after the collision, the military aircraft was found to be completely faulty because it flew in visual flight mode in the built-up area and did not report its status to the Esenboğa tower. The pilots of the passenger plane, on the other hand, were found not guilty as no information was given about the presence of a plane in that area. In the second expert examination carried out later, The passenger plane was found to be defective in 80% and the military plane was found to be defective by 20%.
People who had not yet boarded a plane in their life died in the heart of the capital, in a crowd that would not fall if you throw a needle, under a plane. To ensure that such painful disasters do not happen again in our history and that such negligence results in what We hope that all the necessary lessons are now learned.
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