Nine people were killed and nearly 50 injured after a high-speed train crashed into a locomotive in the Turkish capital on Thursday, officials said.
Transport Minister Cahit Turhan told reporters in televised remarks that three of those killed were operators of the train.
One of the victims died in hospital, he added.
Turhan added that 47 people were injured and were in hospital for treatment.
The fast train had been on its way from Ankara’s main station to the central province of Konya and according to Hurriyet daily, there were 206 passengers on board.
Earlier, the Ankara governor’s office said three out of a total of 46 people had been seriously injured.
The death toll was rising fast. Ankara governor Vasip Sahin said earlier on Thursday morning that four people had been killed.
Debris scattered on the tracks
“This morning there was an accident after the 6.30 high-speed train to Konya hit a locomotive tasked with checking rails on the same route,” Sahin told reporters in televised remarks.
Turhan said the accident took place six minutes after the train left Ankara as it entered the Marsandiz station.
The governor said search and rescue efforts continued as “technical investigations” were underway to find out exactly what caused the crash in Yenimahalle district.
He said information about the cause of the crash would be shared with the public when it is known.
Images published by Turkish media showed some wagons had derailed and debris from the train scattered on the rail track, which was covered in snow.
The windows of one wagon were completely broken while another wagon had been smashed after hitting the footbridge, which also collapsed, an AFP correspondent at the scene said.
The Ankara public prosecutor launched an investigation into the crash, state news agency Anadolu reported.
The Ankara to Konya high-speed route was launched in 2011 and was followed in 2014 with a high-speed link between Ankara and Istanbul.
The accident comes after another rail disaster in July this year when 24 people were killed and hundreds more injured after a train derailed in Tekirdag province, northwest Turkey, due to ground erosion following heavy rains.
Turkey’s rail network has been hit by several fatal accidents in recent years.
In March 2014, a commuter train smashed into a minibus on a railway track in the southern Turkish province of Mersin, which left 10 dead.
In January 2008, nine people were killed when a train derailed in the Kutahya region south of Istanbul because of faulty tracks.
Turkey’s worst rail disaster in recent history was in July 2004 when 41 people were killed and 80 injured after a high-speed train derailed in the northwestern province of Sakarya.
Anti-terror officers in Istanbul and Ankara detained 48 alleged members of the Islamic State extremist group (IS) suspected of planning attacks, state media reported Saturday.
Police detained 31 foreigners who were picked up in anti-terror raids in Istanbul, state-run news agency Anadolu said, without specifying their nationalities, adding that they were believed to have been preparing an attack.
Another 17 people were taken into custody in Ankara over alleged ties to IS who were also accused of plotting an attack, the agency reported later on Saturday without saying when the raids took place.
Turkey suffered a series of terror attacks in 2015 and 2016 as well as one in 2017 blamed on IS and Kurdish militants, killing hundreds.
The last attack claimed by IS was in January 2017 when a gunman killed 39 people at the elite Istanbul nightclub Reina during New Year’s celebrations.
Police have since carried out frequent raids against IS across the country including in the northern province of Samsun on Wednesday when six Iraqis were detained on suspicion of being members of IS.
Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul earlier Saturday said Turkey had either remanded in custody or convicted 1,354 IS suspects.
6,000 people including high-ranking soldiers have been arrested by Turkish police for their alleged roles in Friday’s failed coup.
A brigade commander and more than 50 soldiers were detained in the western province of Denizli earlier on Sunday as the country continues clean-up operations.
Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, says parliament will likely consider a proposal to introduce the death penalty.
At a rally late on Saturday, his supporters demanded that the coup leaders be executed. “Let’s hang them!” chanted the crowd in Ankara’s central Kizilay square.
The president has called on the US to extradite US-based Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who he accuses of being behind the plot but Mr. Gulen denies it.
Erdogan accuses followers of Gulen, who was once an ally but is now his arch-enemy, of trying to create a “parallel structure” within the courts, police, armed forces and media with an aim to topple the state.
The attempted coup left 161 civilians and 104 “plotters” killed and also more than 1,440 injured.
The Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, has dismissed the impeachment threat by some members of the National Assembly as a hoax which exists in the imagination of mischief makers.
Mr Shehu made this remark exclusively to Channels Television in Abuja, while commenting on the recent failed coup attempt in Turkey.
Regarding the purported impeachment threat on the President by the National Assembly, he emphasized the need for Nigeria to uphold its democracy.
Mr Garba Shehu commended the people of Turkey for rising up in defence of democracy.
He condemned those who attempted to take over government through violent means.
President Buhari had also earlier condemned the failed Turkey coup, “The removal of a democratic government by force is no longer acceptable. Violence can never solve any problem but only complicates them and sets back the progress of democratic societies,” he said.
He also offered Nigeria’s support to the government and people of Turkey in their hour of trial.
A large explosion in the Turkish capital, Ankara, has left at least 28 people dead and 61 injured, Turkish officials said on Wednesday.
A vehicle full of explosives was detonated as military buses were passing by, according to the Ankara governor’s office.
The attack targeted a shuttle bus carrying military personnel, and there were several other military vehicles nearby – all of which were waiting at the traffic lights. Most of the casualties are believed to be soldiers.
The Turkish army strongly condemned the attack and called it “a treacherous terror act”.
The blast, which the Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag called an “act of terrorism”, happened in an area close to parliament and Turkey’s military headquarters, the BBC reports.
Large plumes of smoke were seen rising from the area and witnesses said the blast was heard all over the city.
Ambulances and fire engines were sent to the scene.
Security forces carried out a controlled explosion on a suspect package after the blast.
Turkey’s Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has cancelled a trip to Brussels.
Turkey has been hit by a serious of attacks recently, and there have been increasing concerns that the country could be targeted by another big attack, the BBC’s Selin Girit in Istanbul reports.
Hundreds of people have been offering their condolences to the relatives of the dead, condemning the attack, posting pictures and videos of the aftermath of the scene on social media.
In October, over a hundred people were killed in simultaneous explosions targeting a peace march in Ankara. That attack had polarised society further.
Turkish aid workers have been setting up tents and distributing supplies for thousands of new Syrian refugees kept from entering Turkey at the border.
Some 35,000 people fled a Syrian Government offensive in the Aleppo area last week, trying to enter Turkey’s Kilis border region.
But Turkey had so far, closed the border to most of them despite appeals by EU leaders to let them cross. The country already shelters more than 2.5 million refugees from Syria’s war.
Meanwhile, analysts said that the EU was also giving mixed messages, calling one day for Turkey to allow in, those fleeing persecution, but the next voicing frustration that Turkey is not doing enough to stem the refugee flow to Europe.
Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, would be in Ankara on Monday to hold talks with the Turkish Government.
The BBC reports that in November, the EU clinched a deal with Turkey, offering it €3bn (£2.3bn; $3.3bn) to care for Syrian refugees on Turkish soil.
About 4.6 million people had fled Syria since the Civil War began in 2011.
Another 13.5 million were said to be in need of humanitarian assistance inside the country.
On Thursday, 60 donor countries, who had a meeting in London, pledged billions of dollars to ease the plight of Syrian refugees.