Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoğlu has said that the two separate road accidents on Aug. 20 that killed at least 35 people and injured dozens were not caused by road defects, stating that investigations are ongoing.
“These accidents hurt us deeply,” Karaismailoğlu said while speaking at the opening of a photo exhibition held at the high-speed train station in the capital Ankara, adding that investigations continue.
“The truth will be revealed after the investigations, but it seems that driver and vehicle errors were the cause and not poor road conditions,” Karaismailoğlu said.
“We wish that such accidents do not happen again,” the minister added.
The first crash involving a bus and an ambulance killed 15 people and injured 31 more on a motorway in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, local officials said.
Governor Davut Gül said earlier that the accident involved “a bus, an emergency team and an ambulance” on the route between the center of Gaziantep and the district of Nizip.
Three paramedics, three firefighters and two journalists from İhlas News Agency were among those killed, local media reported.
Gendarmeries are currently questioning the driver of the bus to try to establish what happened, Demirören News Agency reported.
Prosecutors are also investigating a second deadly accident that occurred a few hours earlier, 250 kilometers (155 miles) away, which also happened as the emergency services were attending an earlier incident at the site.
On this occasion, at least 20 people were killed and nearly 30 injured after a truck driver hurtled into pedestrians in the Derik district in the province of Mardin, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca wrote on Twitter.
The accident in Derik “occurred after the breaks gave out on a lorry, which hit a crowd,” Koca wrote. Another 26 were injured, with six of them sustaining serious injuries, Koca added. Turkish media shared footage of a driver losing control of his truck, then careening toward nearby vehicles and pedestrians as they try to flee.
Hurriyet Daily News