Turkey train disaster leaves 24 dead, hundreds hurt

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Istanbul, July 9 :  Twenty-four people were killed and hundreds injured when a train packed with weekend passengers derailed in northwest Turkey due to ground erosion after heavy rains, officials said today.

The train, with over 360 people on board, was travelling from the Edirne region on the Greek and Bulgarian borders to Istanbul’s Halkali station on Sunday when six carriages derailed in the Tekirdag region.

Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdag said 24 people died, in a sharp rise from the previous toll of 10.

The state-run Anadolu news agency quoted Akdag as saying search operations through the derailed train carriages had been completed Monday morning.

Turkish media quoted Health Minister Ahmet Demircan as saying 338 people required hospital treatment after the accident with 124 still hospitalised.

The transport ministry said that the train, carrying 362 passengers, had derailed as recent heavy downpours caused the ground beneath the track to erode away.