Turkey: 25 killed when bus crashes into truck

AP News
Posted: Dec 21, 2011 12:01 PM
Turkey: 25 killed when bus crashes into truck

A bus carrying passengers collided head-on with a speeding, brick-laden truck on a narrowed road in southeast Turkey on Wednesday, killing 25 people including a baby, officials said.

Gov. Mustafa Toprak of Diyarbakir province said 16 other passengers were injured in the accident on a road linking Diyarbakir with the neighboring Batman province. Some of the injured were in serious condition.

The truck was trying to overtake a slower vehicle when it slammed into the bus, which was heading in the opposite direction, he said.

The truck "was traveling way over the speed limits," Toprak told Turkey's Anadolu Agency. The truck driver was seriously injured in the crash.

The thoroughfare had been reduced to a single lane each way due to roadwork, which probably contributed to the crash, said Ferit Basar, the mayor of nearby Yukari Salat town.

The list of the dead contained no foreigners, but Recep Ziyadanogullari, president of a university in neighboring Siirt province told Anadolu that 15 students may be among the dead. Three university officials were heading to Yukari Salat, he said.

Video footage from the Dogan news agency showed a medic stepping over a partly-covered body to rush an injured person on a stretcher to an ambulance. Body bags were placed side by side on the road, while bricks were scattered about. Another medic was seen performing a heart massage on one of the injured passengers laying on the road. The front end of the bus appeared cut open, while the truck had toppled to its side.

Such accidents are relatively common in Turkey but becoming rarer as the government has been expanding major roads from single lanes each way to double lanes.