A bus meant to carry 14 people was carrying more than 50 when it crashed and killed 17 on Good Friday, authorities say.
The bus was traveling in eastern Turkey when the driver lost control and crashed. It was carrying people who had fled persecution and extremism in nearby Muslim countries, including Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The bus was part of a smuggling operation that often takes advantage of people crossing the border looking for refugee status.
A minibus packed with migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran crashed and burst into flames in eastern Turkey, killing 17 people, state-run Anadolu news agency said on Friday.
The bus, designed to carry 14 people, was carrying more than 50 foreign nationals when it hit a lamp post and caught fire after the driver lost control in the eastern province of Igdir, Anadolu said.
A second truck, also carrying migrants, was following close behind and hit some of those that fell out of the first bus, Anadolu said.
Authorities detained the 13 people in the second truck along with its driver, it said.
“It saddened us that migrant smuggling, which occurs frequently in our province, ended with a traffic accident,” Igdir governor Enver Unlu was quoted by Anadolu as saying.
Hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria and other countries have crossed to Greece and further into Europe via Turkey in recent years. Hundreds have died in the attempt.
This is a developing story.