Derailed Çorlu train carried more passengers than capacity: Railway employee
İsmail Saymaz – ISTANBUL
A train that derailed in the northwestern province of Tekirdağ on July 8, killing 24 people, carried more passengers than its seating capacity of 360, according to a state railways employee.
There were about 450 passengers in the train at one point with some who traveled standing, the state railways employee, who remained anonymous, told daily Hürriyet.
The seats were reported to be unnumbered and passengers could buy their tickets from conductors on the train, which were the factors behind the excessive selling of tickets.
The train was heading to Istanbul from Edirne, on the border with Greece, when it derailed in Tekirdağ’s Çorlu district.
Following the incident, the Transport Ministry said the train had 362 passengers and six cars with a capacity of 60 passengers each and six crew on board.
The accident report, penned a day after the accident, noted the train crew entered the information regarding the excessive number of passengers into the mobile system 20 minutes before the accident.
“The train departed from Muratlı at around 5:12 p.m. and was cruising at a speed of 90-110 kilometers/hour. As of 4:50 p.m., there were more passengers on the train than seats available. Because of overcrowding, the train made more stops than usual to ensure the passengers safely boarded and unboarded the train, which caused delays,” the reported added.
Meanwhile, a deputy from the İYİ (Good) Party, submitted a motion to parliament proposing an inquiry into the accident.
However, lawmakers declined to discuss the motion in parliament’s general assembly.
“A natural disaster or faulty engineering cannot explain this accident. This accident happened because the necessary measures had not been taken,” said İYİ Party lawmaker Şenol Bal, who submitted the motion.