ISTANBUL — At least ten persons were killed and 73 other injured on Sunday when a train packed with weekend passengers derailed in northwest Turkey, the health ministry said.
The train, with over 360 people 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.
“According to initial findings, 10 people lost their lives and 73 people were injured,” Health Ministry Undersecretary Eyup Gumus told state-run news agency Anadolu.
He also told local media that more than 100 ambulances have been sent to the scene.
The Turkish army said in a statement that it had sent helicopters to the scene, while the Istanbul municipality on Twitter said 24 rescue workers and six rescue vehicles were on their way to provide assistance.
The first television pictures showed several train carriages laying on their sides, and shocked injured being taken away on stretchers as rescue workers picked through the wreckage.
“The accident happened because of adverse weather conditions,” Tekirdag governor Mehmet Ceylan told the NTV channel.
Reports said the surrounding area was muddy due to recent rains.
The transport ministry in a statement said officials confirmed that because of heavy rains, the ground beneath the rails subsided away, causing the train to derail.
Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan was on his way to the scene, the ministry added.
The train derailed outside the village of Sarilar in the Corlu district of Tekirdag, reports said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his condolences to families of those who lost their lives in the accident that has “deeply upset the whole nation”.
Erdogan said all state institutions were “using every means available to help” in a statement issued by the presidency, as he vowed that there would be a comprehensive investigation into the “tragic accident”.Follow @gorkhapost
32 dead, 1 missing in Papua attacks, Indonesian police say
JAYAPURA, INDONESIA- Security forces tried to recover the bodies of 31 construction workers and a soldier who were killed in one of the worst separatist attacks in Indonesia’s restive province of Papua, officials said Tuesday.
Papua police spokesman Suryadi Diaz said 24 workers were killed on Sunday when gunmen stormed a government bridge construction project in a remote mountainous village in Nduga district.
Citing reports from several witnesses, Diaz said, eight other workers fled to the nearby house of a local parliament member, but an armed group came a day later and killed seven of them. However the eighth managed to escape and remains missing.
“This is the worst attack launched by the armed criminal group recently amid intensified development by the government,” Diaz told The Associated Press.
Separately, Papua province military spokesman Lt. Col. Dax Sianturi said an armed group attacked a military post in Mbua village in the same district late Monday, killing a soldier and injuring another.Follow @gorkhapost