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This is the dramatic moment a digger driver has a lucky escape when his excavator topples over and sinks in a major river.

 

Yilmaz Arican was dredging the Melen River in north-western Turkey's Duzce Province when his digger suddenly started to overbalance.

 

As it fell sideways, Mr Arican managed to clamber out of his cab and he ended up standing on the side of the huge vehicle, shouting for help.

 

But then the digger started to slide into a deep part of the river, forcing Mr Arican to climb onto the side of its caterpillar tracks to stay out of the water.

 

And eventually it turned completely upside down, leaving the poor unnamed driver having to desperately scramble onto the upturned bottom of the tracks.

 

He eventually made it to dry land with the help of some pallets that were floated out onto the river by eyewitnesses.

 

The dramatic incident was captured by one witness with a smartphone and the footage is proving popular online after being uploaded to social media and video-sharing websites.

 

The Mayor of Akcakoca, Cuneyt Yeneci, said: "We dodged an accident, luckily nobody was hurt. We will now have to remove the digger from the river."

 

The accident happened during a dredging operation to make an eight-kilometre (five-mile) stretch of the Melen River more attractive to tourists who visit the area for activities such as white water rafting and canoeing.

 

The Melen River is one of Turkey's main rivers and it supplies the country's biggest city of Istanbul with its water.

 

Akcakoca, which lies on Turkey's Black Sea coast between Istanbul and the capital city of Ankara, is named after a 14th century Turkish chieftain who captured the area for the Ottoman Empire.