On June 20, 2016, a train and minibus crashed into each other that killed nine people in the Eastern province of Elazig, Turkey. Among the dead were four Syrians, according to the “Hurriyet Daily News.”
The train was leaving the Tatvan district of the Eastern province of Bitlis and was traveling to the capital, Ankara when the train crashed into a minibus. The crash occurred in Yurtbaşı, according to the “Hurriyet Daily News.”
According to initial reports, nine people were killed and one was injured. Ambulances were called out to the scene, to access the injured party, as well as a security precaution.
According to the “Daily Sabah Turkey,” the minibus was carrying farm workers, which included Syrian nationals. This marked the first severe accident of the summer season that involved workers. The train crash in Elazig killed nine people.
Accidents are more common during the summer season when safety is the most neglected. The farmers were hunting for jobs. The crossing where the accident occurred was located near the Mediterranean port city of Mersin. According to BBC news, the crossing was not visible when the train hit the minibus and dragged it at least 400 meters, killing nine people and injuring one.
The force of the crash caused three passengers to be forced from the minibus. The bodies of two of the three passengers were found near the scene. The third person ejected from the minibus survived the impact. The paramedics at the scene were able to find five bodies in the debris from the crash. Two other victims died while at the hospital and one was severely injured.
Authorities reported that four of the people killed in the train crash were Syrian refugees who lived in Elazig. The four victims had recently joined the other workers to find jobs at local greenhouses.
This crash is the deadliest crash since July 2015, when 15 farmers were killed as a result of a work truck crashing into a pickup truck. The driver of the work truck was driving erratically. A third accident occurred that killed 17 farm employees in the province of Isparta.
The Turkish Parliament has begun to set up a committee that will investigate the many problems the summer farmers face and start trying to resolve the problems of transporting the workers. The committee stated that using the train as a means of transportation should be used as a last resort. The committee also wants to put a ban on workers riding in the back of trucks.
Traffic accidents have steadily declined over the last few years. Even with this decline over 3,000 people lose their lives yearly. Other contributing factors of traffic accidents include the lack of vehicle inspections and reckless driving. These are the two biggest contributors motorists and pedestrians face on the roads of Turkey.
By Brandy Combs
Edited by Jeanette Smith
Hurriyet Daily News: Nine killed in train crash in Turkey’s east
Daily Sabah Turkey: Minibus crashes into train, 9 farm workers killed in eastern Turkey
BBC NEWS: ‘Nine killed’ in Turkey train crash
Photo Courtesy of Ian Fuller’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License