17 Dead As EU Migrants Minibus Crashes On Mountain Road

Story ByAlex CopeSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyAsia Wire Report

Seventeen people have died after an overcrowded minibus reportedly carrying migrants headed for Europe crashed on a mountain road.

The minibus, which reportedly had 67 people on board when the normal capacity is 18, went off a mountain road connecting the centre of the eastern Turkish province of Van with Ozalp district after the driver, named in reports as Gokan Sirma, lost control.

The minibus is said to have been carrying immigrants from the Muradiye District close to the border between Turkey and Iran through the province of Van. 

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Pictures Credit: AsiaWire

The Governor of Van, Mehmet Emin Bilmez, told reporters that the immigrants are believed to have been of Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Afghan origin and had entered Turkey illegally.

Bilmez said that rescue teams and ambulances had been sent to the scene after the crash which saw the driver and children among the 17 victims after the vehicle reportedly crashed into a ditch.

Reports state a further 20 immigrants were injured when the minibus crashed into the ditch. Governor Bilmez told reporters that the immigrants had been crammed into the minibus by taking the seats out.

The cause of death of the 17 victims is unclear

The incident comes after 10 Indian and Pakistani migrants died and a further 30 other people were injured when the cramped minibus they were travelling in crashed as the driver was fleeing police officers in the city of Edirne in Turkey on 26th June.

Reports state immigrants are crossing Turkey to move into Europe.

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Alex Cope

I am a senior writer and editor of the Golders news agency specialising in sports news from around the world.