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Train accident in Turkey kills 5, injures 16

A train slammed into an earth-moving machine in northwest Turkey on Thursday, killing five passengers and injuring 16 others, the transportation minister said.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A train slammed into an earth-moving machine in northwest Turkey on Thursday, killing five passengers and injuring 16 others, the transportation minister said.

Several cars of the train, which was traveling from the capital, Ankara, to Istanbul, derailed near the town of Bilecik, 250 kilometers (155 miles) from Istanbul.

The dead were all in the first rail car, which was squashed between the engine and another car, Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters.

Yildirim said the machine moved into the path of the train, causing the accident.

But Soner Celik, a passenger, told CNN-Turk television that the earth mover was working on a road construction site near the tracks and slid down a hillside, crashing onto to the train.

Television footage of the crash site showed rescuers trying to help a man out of a rail car through a window. The man appeared to be attached to his seat.

Yildirim said some of the injured were in serious condition.

Turkey's government has been working to improve the country's rail system, which is beset by signaling malfunctions, ill-equipped trains, deteriorating tracks and a lack of barriers at level crossings.

In Turkey's worst train accident in recent years, a newly inaugurated high-speed train from Istanbul to Ankara derailed in 2004, killing 37 people and injuring 95 others.