Politics

Ankara train crash leaves nine dead, 47 injured

ANKARA, Nine people were killed and nearly 50 injured after a highspeed train crashed into a locomotive in the Turkish capital on Thursday, officials said.

Transport Minister Cahit Turhan told reporters in televised remarks that

three of those killed were operators of the train.

One of the victims died in hospital, he added.

Turhan added that 47 people were injured and were in hospital for

treatment.

The fast train had been on its way from Ankara's main station to the

central province of Konya and according to Hurriyet daily, there were 206

passengers on board.

Earlier, the Ankara governor's office said three out of a total of 46

people had been seriously injured.

The death toll was rising fast. Ankara governor Vasip Sahin said earlier

on Thursday morning that four people had been killed.

Debris scattered on the tracks

This morning there was an accident after the 6.30 highspeed train to

Konya hit a locomotive tasked with checking rails on the same route, Sahin

told reporters in televised remarks.

Turhan said the accident took place six minutes after the train left

Ankara as it entered the Marsandiz station.

The governor said search and rescue efforts continued as technical

investigations were underway to find out exactly what caused the crash in

Yenimahalle district.

He said information about the cause of the crash would be shared with

the public when it is known.

Images published by Turkish media showed some wagons had derailed and

debris from the train scattered on the rail track, which was covered in snow.

The windows of one wagon were completely broken while another wagon had

been smashed after hitting the footbridge, which also collapsed, an AFP

correspondent at the scene said.

The Ankara public prosecutor launched an investigation into the crash,

state news agency Anadolu reported.

The Ankara to Konya highspeed route was launched in 2011 and was

followed in 2014 with a highspeed link between Ankara and Istanbul.

The accident comes after another rail disaster in July this year when 24

people were killed and hundreds more injured after a train derailed in

Tekirdag province, northwest Turkey, due to ground erosion following heavy

rains.

Turkey's rail network has been hit by several fatal accidents in recent

years.

In March 2014, a commuter train smashed into a minibus on a railway

track in the southern Turkish province of Mersin, which left 10 dead.

In January 2008, nine people were killed when a train derailed in the

Kutahya region south of Istanbul because of faulty tracks.

Turkey's worst rail disaster in recent history was in July 2004 when 41

people were killed and 80 injured after a highspeed train derailed in the

northwestern province of Sakarya.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)