At least nine people have been reported dead after a high-speed train crash in Ankara, Turkey. At least 47 people were reported injured, three of whom are said to be in critical condition, according to the BBC.
The deadly collision happened Thursday morning at around 6:30 local time, when the train rammed into a railway engine and crashed into a pedestrian overpass, The Associated Press reported.
— ANADOLU AGENCY (ENG) (@anadoluagency) December 13, 2018
After inspecting the crash site, Transport Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan told reporters that the engine was checking the tracks at Ankara’s Marsandiz station when the train carrying 206 passengers hit it head-on. The crash caused at least two cars to derail and hit the pedestrian overpass, which collapsed onto the train.
— Ruptly (@Ruptly) December 13, 2018
Three train operators and six passengers were killed in the crash, and dozens of others had varying degrees of injuries. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told reporters at least 84 other people have sought medical attention following the crash.
It remains unclear whether a signaling problem caused the crash, but Turkish authorities arrested three state railway employees on suspicions of negligence, the AP reported. The Ankara state prosecutor’s office has begun an official investigation into the cause of the crash, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan assured that his administration would get to the bottom of it.
In the meantime, many have begun to draw their own conclusions.
In a tweet posted Thursday morning, the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects noted (in Turkish) that it has been flagging “signaling problems” on the line “for some time.”
TMMOB Makina Mühendisleri Odası Başkanı Yunus Yener, Habertürk'te bağlandığı canlı yayında, Ankara-Sincan hattında yaşanan sinyalizasyon sorunu nedeniyle makinistlerin bir süredir telsizle haberleştiğini söyledi.
— MMO İstanbul (@MMOistanbulsb) December 13, 2018
The group quoted its Chairman Yunus Yener, who called the accident “murder.”
The devastating collision follows a series of crashes in Turkey over the past year.
In July, 24 people died and more than 70 were injured a passenger train derailed in northwestern Turkey during a rainstorm that caused a section of the tracks to collapse. And just last month, another passenger train collided with a freight train in the central Turkish province of Sivas, injuring 15 people.
Please pray for all those affected by this latest tragedy.