Trade unions on Thursday raised the alarm over two small electrical explosions occurring at the north’s Ercan (Tymbou) airport in recent weeks.

On March 13 a worker from a subcontracted company received burns on both of his arms while performing “unauthorised” work on a panel box, explained Ahmet Tugcu, chairman of the employee union El-Sen, which is associated with the north’s electricity authority Kib-Tek.

A little over two weeks later, on March 29, another employee of the same subcontracted company was attempting to connect a generator to a transformer without Kib-Tek’s knowledge, Tugcu said. The transformer then exploded, but the man was not injured.

Tugcu said these explosions occurred due to the airport still operating on a transient current, which means that the amount of electricity passing through its electrical systems at any given time is inconsistent.

This fact “poses a serious risk of danger,” he said, and asked why in the nine months since the airport opened, no move had been made to transfer the airport to a normal current.

“The answers to these questions are actually obvious. The installation of the system has not been completed yet,” he said.

In addition, he said “does [the ‘government’] not realise they are an accomplice to those who invite death by turning a blind eye to the airport’s operator intervening in these extremely dangerous devices with subcontractors brought in from outside?”

He added that airport operator T&T is “very well aware that [this equipment] should only be touched by Kib-Tek personnel.”

He said the transfer to a regular current must be done “immediately”.

“Unless this is done, [T&T] will be responsible for all the accidents which will happen.”

“The safety of life and property of both airport employees and passengers is much, much more important than the money you will earn from opening a business hastily as if you were stealing goods from a fire,” he said.

Meanwhile, air traffic controllers’ union chairman Cem Kapisiz said the explosion which injured the worker’s arms “was hidden from the public and from us.”

Having heard about the incident, he said he had asked ‘transport minister’ Erhan Arikli whether the reports were true.

“I asked Arikli, ‘is this true? If so, who is responsible’?’. If it is true, of course Arikli is responsible,” he said.

With this in mind, he said it is “obvious” that the airport “had not passed the requisite electrical checks,” and said an accident could also endanger passengers, given the heightened risk of a fire breaking out.