7 agricultural workers die, 38 injured in traffic accident in Turkey’s south

7 agricultural workers die, 38 injured in traffic accident in Turkey’s south

HATAY – Doğan News Agency
7 agricultural workers die, 38 injured in traffic accident in Turkey’s south

AA photo

Seven workers, including five Syrian migrants, have been killed and 38 others, also mostly Syrians, have been wounded in a traffic accident in the southern province of Hatay. 

A pickup truck carrying 51 agricultural workers lost control and toppled onto the side of a road connecting Hatay’s Antakya and Reyhanlı districts at around 6 p.m. on Sept. 10, killing seven workers, including five Syrian citizens, and injuring a total of 38 others. 

Turkish citizen Ahmet Öksüz, 24, and Syrian citizens Muhammed El Ahmed, 19, Ömer Hasan, 21, Usayd Hasan, 24, Ali Çite, 14, Beşar Çite, 30, and an unidentified man were killed in the accident. 

While two of the workers died at the scene, five others succumbed to their injuries in hospital.

Some 38 workers, including 28 Syrians and 10 Turks, were wounded in the accident and taken to nearby hospitals in ambulances. 

Of the 28 wounded Syrians, six of them were reported to be in critical condition, while six workers escaped the accident uninjured. 

A statement issued by the Hatay governorate said the pickup truck used to carry the workers was registered to a man named Sinan Bayraktar, though it did not specify if he was driving the vehicle during the accident. 

An investigation into the incident has been launched.

Turkey has seen a rising toll of agricultural worker deaths in recent months.

Two agricultural workers along with their one-year-old baby died and 13 others were injured after a pickup truck carrying workers crashed in the southern Turkish province of Gaziantep on July 14.

The pickup truck, which was carrying 16 people, mostly agricultural workers, turned over following a tire blowout on the Gaziantep-Şanlıurfa highway as it was heading from Reyhanlı to Şanlıurfa. 

As many as 15 agricultural workers, 13 of whom were female, died in another pickup truck crash in the Aegean province of Manisa on July 6.

In a separate crash last year, 18 agriculture workers lost their lives as a minibus carrying a group of seasonal agricultural workers turned over in the southern province of Isparta on Oct. 31, 2014.

At least 646 workers died in Turkey in the first five months of 2015, according to a report released on June 2 by the Worker Health and Work Safety Assembly (İSGM), a non-profit platform that deals with worker health and safety issues.

The number of agricultural sector workers who died in May alone was at least 39, the report stated.