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LOCAL > Heavy snow brings life all around Turkey to standstill

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

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Residents of Istanbul remain stuck in traffic for hours as traffic accidents block the roads. Some leave their vehicles and walk to their work place. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

Residents of Istanbul remain stuck in traffic for hours as traffic accidents block the roads. Some leave their vehicles and walk to their work place. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

Adverse weather conditions disrupted life throughout Turkey yesterday, causing road transport complications in the northwest and blocking roads in the east.

Wintry weather has snarled traffic around Istanbul, causing accidents and bottlenecks on highways on both sides of the city yesterday.

A multiple-vehicle collision took place on Istanbul’s intercontinental Bosphorus Bridge at around 6:00 a.m. yesterday due to the ice on the road.

After the accident the bridge was closed to traffic for an hour, with long queues building up at the bridge’s entrance. Five people were slightly injured and were taken to neighboring hospitals. Police units and ambulances were sent to the scene of accident, before municipality teams conducted
salting work on the road.

Commuters leave vehicles

Public transportation was overloaded as many commuters elected to leave their vehicles at home and use alternate means to get totheir homes. The city’s metrobus system was particularly overwhelmed, while the bad weather caused one metrobus to crash through its barrier and enter the normal highway around Okmeydanı on the city’s European side. Around 1,300 village roads were also blocked due to heavy snow in eastern parts of the country, cutting off several districts.

Meanwhile, due to heavy snowstorms in Bulgaria, export trucks were unable to pass through the northwestern province of Edirne’s Hamzabeyli customs gate. A queue about two kilometers long was formed while police units directed trucks to the alternative Kapıkule customs gate.

There have been a number of ferry cancellations due to the snow. Istanbul Sea Buses (IDO) cancelled several lines such as the Bandırma-Yenikapı route. The violent storm overturned lampposts and trees in several districts of Istanbul including Sarıyer, Fatih, Beyoğlu, Eyüp, and Güngören. The fallen trees, which were blocking the roads, were finally cut into pieces by fire crews.

A metrobus operating between Istanbul’s Avcılar and Zincirlikuyu districts also went off the road on the E-5 highway in the Okmeydanı neighborhood. Ambulances were dispatched to the scene of accident.
A single-storey shanty house reportedly collapsed due to the storm in Istanbul’s Eyüp district at around 8:00 a.m. yesterday, trapping the family in the wreckage.

They were rescued by their neighbors and sent to a hospital with an ambulance.

Turkey should be braced for more storms, rainfall and snow in the days to come, according to meteorology officials.

December/21/2012

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