15 killed as Turkish truck carrying farms workers collides with tanker
MANİSA – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotosA truck carrying agricultural workers collided with a milk tanker in the Aegean province of Manisa early on July 6, killing 15 passengers and wounding two.
The truck was carrying a group of mostly female agricultural workers to a vineyard to pick fresh grape leaves. Thirteen women who were heading to the grape field are among the dead.
The accident reportedly occurred after the milk tanker made an unsafe lane change. According to reports, the tanker’s driver survived the accident.
Ambulances and hearses were dispatched to the crash scene following the accident.
Many of those who died were related and from the same neighborhood. Among the dead were six people from the same family: truck driver Seydi Aydın and his wife, Ayşe Aydın, as well as other family members Kezban Uysal, Nesrin Aydın – who was three months’ pregnant – Zeynep Uysal and Ummuhan Uysal.
Nurdane Kaya and her son Murat Kaya were also among the victims. The other victims included Fadime Orhan, Ümmü Demirkol, Zeynep Zengin, Azize Kars, Ayşe Yaşar, Zekiye Çetin and Yıldız Öztürk.
Gülseren Kılınç, who was the only person in the truck to survive the accident, and the tanker driver were both hospitalized at Akhisar State Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Kamil Öz, the mayor of Manisa’s Gölmarmara district.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy group leader Özgür Özel and CHP deputy leader Yakup Akkaya also headed to the province to monitor the incident. The two politicians were dispatched to Gölmarmara following instructions from CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
Recalling that accidents had frequently occurred in the area where the collision occurred, Öz said officials had failed to sufficiently widen the road.
“Around 10,000 vehicles use this road a day. The work on this road should have been completed by now. There were 16 people on the truck, and only one person has survived. I heard the screams of the families and relatives of the victims; they were hard to endure. These people were taking the road in the middle of the night to work for around 40 Turkish Liras a day,” said Öz.
Manisa Gov. Erdoğan Bektaş, however, claimed that the road was wide and open. “It seems that the road where the crash occurred was wide, straight and clear.”
The accident is the second deadly traffic accident since 2014 which resulted in the deaths of agricultural workers. Eighteen people were killed and 27 were injured when a bus carrying agricultural laborers rolled over and fell into a ditch in the southern province of Isparta on October 2014.