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Seven dead after Turkish high-speed train crashes in Ankara


A Turkish high-speed train has collided with another rail engine and crashed into a pedestrian overpass at a train station in Ankara on Thursday, killing seven people and injuring 46.

Video footage showed emergency workers at the scene, working to free people from carriages trapped beneath the mangled metal wreckage of the overpass at the Marşandiz train station.

The accident happened about 6.30am local time (0330 GMT) as the train was travelling between Ankara and the central Turkish province of Konya, news reports said. Marşandiz station is about five miles (8km) from the main Ankara train station.

The governor of Ankara, Vasip Şahin, told reporters the crash was caused by the high-speed train hitting the engine that was checking the tracks at a station.

The private NTV television said at least two cars derailed. Parts of the overpass collapsed on to the train.

It was not clear at what speed the trains were travelling when the crash occurred.

Şahin initially said four people were killed in the crash. His office later issued a statement saying seven people were killed in the crash, including the high-speed train’s engine driver. Three of the injured passengers were in serious condition.

“Our hope is that there are no other victims,” he said.

It was not immediately clear if a signalling problem caused the crash. Şahin said a technical inspection has begun while NTV television, quoting unnamed officials, said three prosecutors were assigned to investigate.

In July, 10 people were killed and more than 70 injured when most of a passenger train derailed in north-western Turkey after torrential rains caused part of the rail tracks to collapse. Last month, 15 people were injured when a passenger train collided with a freight train in Turkey’s central province of Sivas.

Konya, about 160 miles (260km) south of Ankara, is home to the tomb of the Sufi mystic and poet Rumi, attracting thousands of pilgrims and tourists.

Source: The Guardian