According to initial reports, part of an overpass collapsed onto some of the cars of a high-speed passenger train that crashed in Ankara, derailing two coaches Image Credit: Anadolu agency

Highlights

  • Three train drivers among the dead 
  • Train was travelling between Ankara and Konya
  • Collision occurred in snowy conditions

ANKARA: Nine people were killed and nearly 50 injured in Turkey when a high speed train collided with a locomotive and crashed into a station platform and overpass in an Ankara suburb early on Thursday, officials said.

Speaking to reporters at the crash site, Ankara Governor Vasip Sahin said the locomotive, which lay battered 20 metres further ahead, carried out track inspections, when the high speed train, which was travelling to the central province of Konya, had crashed into it.

Broadcasters said the accident occurred around 06:30 am in the capital Ankara as the train was setting off on a journey to the central province of Konya.

Rescuers worked to free people trapped under the mangled wreckage at Marsandiz train station, 8 km from central Ankara. It was not clear at which speed the train and locomotive were travelling when the collision occurred. There was light snow on the tracks.

Parts of the overpass collapsed onto some of the carriages and some passengers are still stuck in the train, Haberturk TV reported.

Three train drivers were among the nine killed in the crash, Transport Minister Cahit Turhan told reporters on the scene.

There were 206 passengers on the high speed train, according to state-owned Anadolu news agency, which also reported that the Ankara state prosecutor's office had launched an investigation.

On July 8, a passenger train derailed near the Turkish town of Corlu, west of Istanbul, killing 25 people. The government blamed the accident on torrential rains and a landslide that weakened the base of the tracks. The cause of Thursday’s accident is not yet clear.

Turkey has been developing a network of high-speed rail links during Tayyip Erdogan's 16-year-old rule as it looks to ease the burden on increasingly congested highways.