Two separate crashes at accident sites kill at least 35 in Turkey

Credit: IHA via AP

At least 35 people have been killed in two separate, but similar, crashes in southern Turkey on Saturday.

Both crashes involved large vehicles crashing into emergency teams who were responding to earlier crashes, according to reports.

The collisions happened around 150 miles apart.

The first crash, which killed 16 people, involved a bus and an ambulance on the road between the cities of Gaziantep and Nizip.

Three firefighters, two paramedics and two journalists were among those killed, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu tweeted. Gaziantep Governor Davut Gul said 22 other people were injured in the incident.

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Turkey's Ilhas News Agency said two of its journalists were killed after pulling over to help the victims of the initial accident, in which a car came off the highway and slid down an embankment. Television footage showed an ambulance with severe damage to its rear while the bus lay on its side alongside the highway.

Hours later, a separate crash occurred in the town of Derik in Mardin when a lorry reportedly hit first responders who were attending another accident.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the death toll rose to 19 just before 9pm BST.

He added that 26 people are injured, and six are in serious condition.

Turkey has a poor record of road safety. Some 5,362 people were killed in traffic accidents last year, according to the government.