Sunday 20 January 2019

Train crash in Turkish capital leaves nine dead and dozens injured

At least two carriages derailed, hitting an Ankara station overpass which then collapsed on to the train.

Ankara train accident. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Ankara train accident. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

By Burhan Ozbilici and Suzan Fraser, Associated Press

A high-speed train has hit a railway engine and crashed into a pedestrian overpass at a station in the Turkish capital, killing nine people and injuring 47 others, officials said.

The early morning train from Ankara to the central city of Konya collided head-on with the engine, which was checking tracks at the capital’s small Marsandiz station, Transport Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan said.

The high-speed train normally passes through that station without stopping.

At least two carriages derailed, hitting the station’s overpass which then collapsed on to the train.

Three engine drivers and six passengers were killed in the crash, Mr Turhan said. One of the passengers died after being taken to hospital while others were killed at the scene.

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The aftermath of the crash (Burhan Ozbilici/AP)

Television footage showed emergency services working to rescue passengers from mangled carriages and debris. The Hurriyet newspaper said sniffer dogs assisted efforts to find survivors.Mr Turhan said everyone has been removed from the debris and no one else is believed to be trapped.

It was not immediately clear if a signalling problem caused the crash. Ankara governor Vasip Sahin said a technical inspection has begun while NTV television, quoting unnamed officials, said three prosecutors were assigned to investigate.

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Rescue services work at the scene (DHA/AP)

In July, 10 people were killed and more than 70 injured when most of a passenger train derailed in north-western Turkey, after torrential rain caused part of the rail tracks to collapse.

Last month, 15 people were injured when a passenger train collided with a freight train in the central province of Sivas.

Konya, about 160 miles south of Ankara, is home to the tomb of the Sufi mystic and poet Jalaladdin Rumi, attracting thousands of pilgrims and tourists.

The crash occurred during an annual week of remembrance for Rumi when many travel to Konya to watch whirling dervishes perform.

Press Association

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