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Turkey train disaster leaves 24 dead, hundreds hurt

AFP  |  Istanbul 

Twenty-four people were killed and hundreds injured when a train packed with weekend passengers derailed in northwest due to ground erosion afer heavy rains, officials said today.

The train, with over 360 people on board, was travelling from the Edirne region on the Greek and Bulgarian borders to on Sunday when six carriages derailed in the Tekirdag region.

said 24 people died, in a sharp rise from the previous toll of 10.

The state-run agency quoted Akdag as saying through the derailed train carriages had been completed Monday morning.

Turkish media quoted as saying 338 people required hospital treatment after the accident with 124 still hospitalised.

The transport ministry said that the train, carrying 362 passengers, had derailed as recent heavy downpours caused the ground beneath the track to erode away.

said that the latest checks on the rails had been made in April, reported.

Turkish media, including the Hurriyet daily, published pictures showing the erosion had been so bad that part of the track had been in the air with no ground left to support it.

Television pictures showed several train carriages sprawled on their sides, and shocked injured passengers being taken away on stretchers as rescue workers picked through the wreckage.

The train derailed outside the village of in the Corlu district of Tekirdag.

expressed his condolences over those who lost their lives in the accident that he said has "deeply upset the whole nation".

The accident, one of Turkey's worst train disasters of recent years, threatens to cast a shadow over a lavish ceremony scheduled in later Monday to mark the inauguration of Erdogan for a new presidential mandate and the transition to a new system of government.

Erdogan said all state institutions were "using every means available to help", vowing that there would be a comprehensive investigation into the "tragic accident", the presidency said.

Turkey's audiovisual authority RTUK later said the government had issued a temporary ban on broadcasting images from the scene. This was lifted on Monday morning.

Turkish authorities under Erdogan have over the last years sought to modernise Turkey's once ramshackle rail network, building several high speed inter-city lines.

Turkish passengers have in general preferred taking planes or buses for but this has been changing with the new high-speed lines.

The train involved in the accident appeared to be one of the slower passenger trains travelling on a single track line.

Turkey's has been hit by several fatal accidents in recent years. In January 2008, nine people were killed when a train derailed in the Kutahya region south of due to faulty

And in Turkey's worst recent rail disaster, 41 people were killed and 80 injured in July 2004 when a high-speed train derailed in the northwestern province of

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, July 09 2018. 11:20 IST
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