türkçe links to original Turkish article
(HaberTürk Newspaper, 14 March 2017)
Certainly has the look of a superhero.
Eyüp Bapun (17) moved with his 7-member family to Arifiye in
Adapazarı province after the earthquake that hit Van in 2011. When
Eyüp's father, a construction worker, got cancer the burden of
supporting the family fell on his shoulders. After starting his first
year of high school last year in his new city, Eyüp left school half way
through and began working a construction job for 50 TL (about 20 USD)
While earning money as an iron worker Eyüp's father's hospital expenses
increased because of chemotherapy treatments. To earn more Eyüp wanted
to work at the Kızılcık Dam project for 110 TL per day. But because he
was only 17, Eyüp he used his cousin Tarık Bapun's ID card to apply for
Eyüp's life changed dramatically two days after he started work at the
dam site. He picked up a bead of radioactive 'Iridium 192', which is used
with an X-ray machine to check for leaks in pipe welds. After playing
with the bead for a bit, Eyüp put it in his pocket and brought it home that
evening. When his mother asked what it was he said it was a 'prayer bead,
It even has an 'imame' (handle)".
Eyüp's cancer-stricken dad.
Eyüp's pregnant older sister Kübra (19), his older brother İbrahim (24) and
his niece Hira Nur (1.5) also handled the 'bead'. Before long, Eyüp's eyes
became red and his skin turned purple. He began to suffer headaches and
to vomit. Eyüp went to the emergency room at the hospital but, not
knowing what his ailment was, doctors there gave him an injection. His
family members' hands showed sores, as well.
After Eyüp's hip stiffened he again went to the hospital and this time
mentioned the 'bead' to the doctors. A check for radiation proved positive,
causing authorities to quarantine the emergency room and Eyüp's Neviye
neighborhood. Officials from Turkey's Atomic Energy Council (TAEK)
went to the dam site to check on the radioactive activities there. They
discovered that the radioactive source in the X-ray machine had fallen
out and could not be found.
In comics, exposure results in super powers. In real life, though...
TAEK officials took the Iridium 192 bead from the Bapun family
members, who had wrapped it in a napkin and put it in a plastic bag.
Readings at the home showed no reflection of the radioactivity having
spread. Eyüp's siblings and niece appear to have recovered from their
exposure but Eyüp remains in the hospital, receiving doses of drugs
every two days to relieve his pain. His flesh and skin are badly
damaged where he touched the 'bead'. Eyüp's family donates blood
for him every two weeks.
The Bapun family filed suit against the dam construction firm for not
taking proper precautions for radioactive material. However, the firm
filed a counter-suit against the underage Eyüp for using someone else's
ID card to gain employment and for bringing the radioactive material
home. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for 10 May and Eyüp's
father will represent him because he is still under age.