Ten people were killed and 73 injured on Sunday when a train packed with weekend passengers derailed in northwest Turkey, the health ministry said.
The train, with almost 400 passengers on board, was travelling from the Edirne region on the Greek and Bulgarian borders to Istanbul’s Halkali station when six of its carriages derailed in the Tekirdag region.
State-run TRT Haber television said over 100 ambulances have been sent to the scene, while the Turkish army said in a statement that it had deployed helicopters to help rescue operations.
Television pictures showed several train carriages turned over, and the injured being taken away on stretchers.
“There are a large number of injured and we have fatalities,” Tekirdag governor Mehmet Ceylan told the NTV channel. “The accident happened because of adverse weather conditions,” he added.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been informed over the accident and expressed his condolences over those who lost their lives.
As part of industrial reforms, Turkish authorities under Erdogan have 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 the bus for inter-city travel but this is changing with the new high-speed lines.
It is udnerstood that the train involved in the accident appeared to be one of the slower passenger trains travelling on a single track railway.