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20.05.2006 Europe

Accident kills 40 immigrants in Turkey

Accident kills 40 immigrants in Turkey

A small truck packed with illegal immigrants from Afghanistan and Bangladesh has crashed into a parked transport truck in Turkey, leaving at least 40 people dead and six others injured.

Authorities said that the accident had occurred on Friday near the southern city of Osmaniye.

Governor Zubeyir Kemelek said the overall death toll was 42, including the Turkish driver and another Turk who was traveling in the cabin of the truck.

Dozens of bodies were seen in television footage lying on the asphalt just behind the trucks.

The driver of the transport truck said he had to park on roadside after his truck developed an engine problem.

The Anatolia news agency citing witnesses reported that the impact of the crash ejected the immigrants onto the asphalt.

The immigrants were standing during their journey in the back of the truck.

Doctors said that most of the victims died of brain trauma or internal bleeding.

The immigrants had entered Turkey from Iran and were planning to sneak into Bulgaria and then to Greece, Anatolia said.

Turkey is a major transit point for thousands of Middle Eastern and African migrants attempting to reach Europe illegally every year.