8 dead, 71 injured in multiple crashes ahead of Ramadan holiday
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Cihan PhotoEight people have died and 71 others were injured in multiple bus crashes across the country ahead of the holiday marking the end of Ramadan, which officially starts on July 16.
Seven people were killed and 39 others were injured when a passenger bus turned over and slid off the road due to heavy rain around 4:15 a.m. on July 15 near a tunnel in the northern province of Bolu.
The driver of the bus heading from the Central Anatolian province of Niğde to Istanbul lost control of the vehicle as it slid about 50 meters on the slippery road after a heavy rainfall. Aycan Efkan, Şahin Kanak, Ahmet Polat, Gülay Akarsu, passengers who were on the bus at the time of the crash, died at the scene. Adem Kılıç, another passenger, later died in hospital.
About 20 minutes after medical staff conducted initial treatment for those who were injured in the crash, another passenger bus heading from the Black Sea province of Ordu to Istanbul crashed after its driver suddenly braked after seeing the initial wreck. The number of casualties from the two crashes combined totaled 39.
Members of the National Medical Recovery Team (UMKE), the Bolu Provincial Health Directorate, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and several ambulances as well as firefighters and traffic police officers were dispatched to the scene. Some 15 of the casualties were reported to be in serious condition.
In a separate crash on July 15, one person was killed and 32 others were injured when a passenger bus heading from the Central Anatolian province of Çorum to the capital Ankara drove into a ditch four kilometers away from Çorum’s Sungurlu district. Mustafa Özel, 29, died at the scene and 32 people who were injured. After the crash, the passengers broke the bus’ windows in a panicked attempt to escape the vehicle. Three of the injured were taken to the Çorum Training and Research Hospital and reported to be in serious condition.
As the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan is a national holiday in Turkey, the number of traffic accidents tends to rise as people head to other provinces across the country to take vacations and gather with friends and family.