Building obtains a report that cites ‘poor construction’ in fatal 2006 accident in Turkey

A three-year-old girl was crushed to death after the roof of a newly-built Tesco store in Turkey collapsed in part owing to flawed construction, a report obtained by Building reveals.

The tragedy, which occurred in Antalya, south-west Turkey, in September 2006, has never been reported in the UK press and was attributed at the time to severe weather conditions.

However the report, compiled by one of Tesco’s structural engineers in the aftermath of the accident, reveals that the construction of the store was “poor”, prior to the death of local resident Merve Tas.

The collapse has since led the supermarket giant, one of the largest construction clients in the UK, to overhaul the design of the 49 stores it plans to complete in Turkey this year as part of a £750m, five-year expansion plan.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “Do you live and learn after events like this? Of course you do, which is why Tesco has made sure that stores with similar designs to this one should have any design issues looked at.”

The report examines the reasons why a 16 × 24m section of Tesco subsidiary Kipa’s eight-month old hypermarket collapsed on 20 September 2006.

It highlights nine problems, including drainage, lateral restraint, roof insulation and quality of construction.

The report says: “There appear to have been a number of design variations developed on site or at progress meetings. This has led to poor and uncoordinated detailing, producing poor construction.”

In a statement to Building, Tesco admitted that there were “some issues with the design and construction of the roof”.

Tesco also confirmed that an out-of-court settlement was reached with the girl’s parents but did not reveal the amount.

Tesco said: “The Kipa store met all local building regulations and had been inspected and signed off by the local municipal authorities.

“Based on the findings of our own report and in agreement with the local authority we made some changes to the roof and drainage of the original building before the store re-opened.”