At least 15 killed as bus crashes at accident site in Turkey

At least 15 people killed in Gaziantep province and 20 others killed in Mardin province in separate incidents.

Published On 20 Aug 2022

At least 35 people have been killed in separate incidents in southeastern Turkey when vehicles crashed into first responders who were attending earlier accidents, authorities said.

Saturday’s accidents happened just 250km (155 miles) apart in southern Turkey.

The first happened on the highway between Gaziantep and Nizip when a passenger bus collided with emergency teams that had responded to a crash in the southeastern Mardin Province, west of Derik.

Three firefighters, two paramedics and two journalists were among the 15 killed on the highway between Gaziantep and Nizip, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu wrote in a tweet. The other eight deaths were on the bus, he added.

Twenty other people were wounded and received treatment, regional Governor Davut Gul said on Saturday.

“At around 10:45 this morning, a passenger bus crashed here,” Gul said, speaking from the scene of the accident on the road east of Gaziantep.

“While the fire brigade, medical teams and other colleagues were responding to the accident, another bus crashed 200 metres [219 yards] behind. The second bus slid to this site and hit the first responders and the wounded people on the ground.”

The Turkish news agency Ilhas said two of its journalists were killed after pulling over to help the victims of the initial accident, in which a car came off the highway and slid down an embankment.

Television footage showed an ambulance with severe damage to its rear while the bus lay on its side alongside the highway.

smashed car and ambulance
Television footage showed an ambulance with severe damage [Screenshot/Reuters]

Separately, a truck hit a site in the Derik district of Mardin, where the first respondents were attending to another accident.

Speaking from the site, Soylu said 20 people were killed and 26 injured. A police officer was among the victims, and two drivers were detained as an investigation was launched, he said.

Turkey’s official Anadolu Agency said an accident involving three vehicles had happened at the same site shortly before, and emergency responders were already at the scene when the truck ploughed into the crowd.

Turkey has a poor record of road safety. Some 5,362 people were killed in traffic accidents last year, according to the government.

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