ISTANBUL: Twenty-four people were killed in northwest Turkey when five carriages of a train headed for Istanbul derailed following heavy rain and a landslide, state broadcaster TRT Haber quoted Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdag as saying on Monday.
Hospitals nearby were treating 124 people injured in Sunday`s accident, Turkish health minister Ahmet Demircan said, according to the broadcaster.
Akdag said the search and rescue effort in the wake of the accident was halted by Monday morning, it added. The train was carrying 362 passengers at the time of the accident.
Television images showed several wagons laying on their side and emergency personnel walking to reach the crash site.
One survivor, walking along the rail track away from the accident site, told CNN Turk television that he had seen many more than 10 bodies.
A statement from the prime minister’s office said a suburban train suffered an accident after a landslide. “Unfortunately we have fatalities and casualties,” it said.
The local governor in Tekirdag, about 120 km (75 miles) west of Istanbul, blamed heavy rain for the derailment.
“Our helicopter ambulances have reached the site. Many of those injured have been taken off the site,” Mehmet Ceylan said.
President Tayyip Erdogan’s office said he had received information from the ministers of transport and interior about the incident, and sent condolences for those killed.