At least 10 people were killed and 73 others injured after a passenger train derailed in Turkey’s northwestern Tekirdag province on Sunday, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported, citing a Health Ministry official.
“According to our first estimates, 10 people lost their lives and 73 people were injured,” Eyüp Gümüş, the Turkish Health Ministry’s undersecretary, said.
The train, carrying 362 passengers and six train staff, was traveling from Edirne province to İstanbul when five bogies derailed near the village of Sarılar in Tekirdağ’s Çorlu district.
Around 100 ambulances were sent to the scene, while it has also been reported that the Ministry of Health has dispatched air ambulances to the region.
Additionally, the Turkish General Staff also sent military helicopters to airlift the injured passengers.
One survivor, walking along the rail track away from the accident site, told CNN Turk that he had seen many more than 10 bodies, Reuters reported.
Mehmet Ceylan, Tekirdağ’s governor, said the accident was caused by heavy rains in the region.
The Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications later said in a statement the accident occurred after the railway track slipped due to torrential rains.
The Prime Ministry imposed a temporary ban on broadcasting about the accident, which caused outrage on social media.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expressed condolences for those who lost their lives in an accident that has “deeply upset the whole nation,” AFP reported.
Erdoğan said all state institutions were “using every means available to help” in a statement issued by the presidency as he vowed there would be a comprehensive investigation into the “tragic accident.”
Turkey’s rail network has been hit by several fatal accidents over the last years.
In January 2008, nine people were killed when a train derailed in the Kütahya region south of İstanbul due to faulty rails.
And in Turkey’s worst recent rail disaster, 41 people were killed and 80 injured in July 2004 when a high-speed train derailed in the northwestern province of Sakarya.