Turkey was plunged into mourning after a busy passenger train derailed in western Turkey on Sunday evening, killing 24 and injuring 318 people. The train was carrying 362 passengers and six crew at the time of the accident.
The six-carriage train was over half-way into its journey from Edirne, near the border with Greece, to Istanbul when it came off the rails by Çorlu, a small town in Tekirdağ province, 100 km away from its destination. Five cars skidded off the rails and overturned as they came to a halt in adjacent fields.
Investigators found a section of track the train had run over had partially collapsed after the ground beneath it gave way following heavy rains. A crisis desk was set up in the aftermath of the accident, while Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdağ visited the site and said at a press conference in Çorlu that the authorities were ‘working meticulously’ to identify what had caused the fatal accident.
The Tekirdağ crash is Turkey’s worst rail disaster since 2004, when 41 people were killed in a high-speed rail accident in the city of Sakarya.