Dozens killed in Turkey accidents as vehicles crash into first responders
At least 32 people died and dozens were injured in two separate traffic accidents on Saturday, each in areas where collisions occurred earlier in the day, local media reported.
A first bus and ambulance accident killed 16 people and injured 21 more on a highway in Gaziantep province.
Governor Davut Gul previously said the accident involved “a bus, an emergency team and an ambulance” on the route between the provincial capital Gaziantep and Nizip.
The DHA news agency said a passenger bus had crashed into an ambulance, a fire truck and a vehicle carrying journalists at the site of a previous crash.
Among the dead are four paramedics, three firefighters and two journalists from the Turkish news agency Ilhas, local media reported.
Photos on DHA show the back of the ambulance ripped out and damage to the bus.
Gendarmes are currently questioning the bus driver to try to determine what happened, DHA reported.
Prosecutors are already investigating a second fatality, which also happened when emergency services attended a previous incident at the site.
On the occasion, at least 16 people were killed and nearly 30 injured after a truck driver slammed into pedestrians in a town some 200 kilometers (120 miles) to the east, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.
The Derik accident in Mardin province “came after the brakes failed on a truck, which hit a crowd,” Koca wrote on Twitter. Another 29 were injured, eight of them seriously, he added.
Turkish media shared footage of a driver losing control of his truck, then rushing at nearby vehicles and pedestrians as they try to flee.
The official Turkish news agency Anadolu reported that a three-vehicle accident had occurred at the same location shortly before. Emergency services were already on the scene when the truck drove into the crowd.
Prosecutors in Derik have launched an investigation into the double accident, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag announced.
“All resources have been mobilized,” he wrote on Twitter, expressing his condolences to those who had lost them.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dispatched Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu to the site of the accident and he was expected there later on Saturday, the Anadolu agency reported.