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UPDATE - 16 migrants die in vehicle crash in eastern Turkey

UPDATE - 16 migrants die in vehicle crash in eastern Turkey
Driver loses control of steering wheel, vehicle plunges off road in Van province, over 50 others injured, says governor

UPDATE WITH NUMBER OF CASUALTIES, ADDS; MORE REMARK FROM GOVERNOR

By Cemal Asan, Mesut Varol and Ozkan Bilgin

VAN, Turkey (AA) - At least 16 people died and 51 were injured on Thursday when a vehicle carrying irregular migrants crashed in eastern Turkey, a local official said.

The crash reportedly occurred when the driver lost control of the steering wheel and the vehicle plunged off the road in Ipekyolu, Van province.

Van Governor Mehmet Emin Bilmez got information from Mahmut Sunnetcioglu, the provincial health director during his visiting injured people at the Van Regional Training and Research Hospital.

"Unfortunately, 16 people died in the accident and 51 people injured including those in serious condition,” Bilmez told reporters at the hospital after visiting injured people.

Bilmez said the driver, who had previously faced charges of migrant smuggling, also died at the scene.

"67 people were forced into the minibus which normally has capacity of 17-18 people," he said, adding that among those died were women and children.

Earlier, Bilmez said that 15 people were killed and more than 20 were injured at the scene.

Turkey has been a key transit point for irregular migrants aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

*Writing by Burak Bir

source: News Feed
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