Twenty-four people were killed when a train derailed in northwest Turkey this weekend, Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdag said on Monday, a sharp jump from the previous toll of 10.
The state-run Anadolu news agency quoted Akdag as saying search operations this morning had now been completed at the wreck of the train, which derailed early Sunday evening in the Tekirdag region while heading towards Istanbul.
Turkish media quoted Health Minister Ahmet Demircan as saying 338 people required hospital treatment after the accident with 124 still hospitalized.
Reports said that the train, carrying 362 passengers, had derailed as recent heavy rain caused the ground beneath the track to erode away.
Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan said that the latest checks on the rails had been made in April, Anadolu reported.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been informed over the accident and expressed his condolences over those who lost their lives, state-run Anadolu news agency said.
Turkish authorities under Erdogan have over the last years sought to modernize Turkey’s once ramshackle rail network, building several high speed inter-city lines.
The train involved in the accident appeared to be one of the slower passenger trains traveling on a single track railway.