Mon, Jan 28, 2008 - Page 6 News List

Train derailment kills nine in Turkey, icy tracks blamed


A passenger train derailed in Turkey early yesterday, killing at least nine people and injuring dozens of others, the prime minister's office said. Media reports put the toll higher.

It said two cars rolled over when the train from Istanbul to the southern city of Denizli derailed near the city of Kutahya.

The rescue operation was still under way. It was not immediately clear how many passengers were aboard at the time of the accident.

Around 300 passengers had boarded in Istanbul and more than 400 others boarded in Kutahya, authorities said.

NTV television, citing officials at the scene, said nine bodies had been recovered so far. CNN-Turk television put the injury toll at 50.

The injured were hospitalized in Kutahya and in the nearby central Anatolian city of Kutahya, reports said. Buses transported uninjured passengers to their destinations.

Railway authorities suspected that the train might have been derailed at a turn because of ice on the tracks, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.

It was the nation's fifth major rail accident in less than four years.

In the last major train accident in Turkey, a passenger train rammed into a truck carrying farm workers in southern Turkey in November 2005, killing nine people and injuring 30 others.

In August 2004, a passenger train ignored a stop signal and rammed into an oncoming train in northwestern Turkey, killing six people and injuring 85.

The previous month, a newly inaugurated high-speed train from Istanbul to Ankara derailed, killing 37 people.

Three days later, a passenger train slammed into a minibus at a western railroad crossing, killing 15 people and injuring four others.

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