A train packed with weekend passengers derailed in northwest Turkey on Sunday killing 24 people and injuring 318, a top Turkish official said.
Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdag said Monday that heavy rain had caused the ground under the rails to collapse, causing Sunday's crash.
The train was heading to Istanbul from Edirne, on the border with Greece, with 362 passengers and six crew members on board. Some 124 of the 318 injured passengers are still being treated in hospitals
Five of its six cars derailed.
Over 100 ambulances have been sent to the scene, TRT Haber said, quoting Health Ministry Undersecretary Eyup Gumus. The Turkish army said in a statement that it had sent helicopters to the scene.
Television pictures showed several train carriages laying on their sides, and shocked injured being taken away on stretchers.
“There are a large number of injured and we have fatalities,” Tekirdag governor Mehmet Ceylan told the NTV channel. “The accident happened because of adverse weather conditions,” he added.
Reports said the surrounding area was muddy due to recent rains.
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 travelling on a single track railway.