A passenger train rammed into a truck carrying farm workers in southern Turkey on Wednesday, killing nine people and injuring at least 18 others, officials said. It was the nation's fourth major rail accident in 1 1/2 years. The accident occurred near the town of Tarsus near the Mediterranean port city of Mersin, the Anatolia news agency reported. All of the casualties apparently were from the truck.
The train collided into the truck'sside as it apparently was attempting to cross the tracks, footage from private CNN-Turk television showed. The train split the truck in two, leaving a huge chunk of squeezed and twisted metal behind.
The accident occurred around 6:30 a.m. (0430 GMT), CNN-Turk said. No injured people or bodies were seen in the footage which apparently was shot after the rescue operation was over.
Tens of thousands of seasonal workers flock to the area to work at tangerine and orange gardens at this time of the year.
It was deadliest train accident in Turkey since August 2004 when a passenger train ignored a stop signal and rammed into an oncoming train, killing six people and injuring 85 near the village of Tavsancil in northwestern Kocaeli about 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of Istanbul.
That accident came three weeks after a newly inaugurated high-speed train from Istanbul to Ankara derailed, killing 37 people.Three days after the derailment, a passenger train slammed into a minibus at a western railroad crossing, killing 15 people and injuring four others, reports the AP. I.L.