Turkey: 20 people killed as two trucks run over crowd on the city's main street
20 people were killed on Saturday in Turkey's Kurdish-majority city of Derik when a truck with a blown-out tire ran over a group of people, followed by another truck that ran out of brakes and sped into the crowd that have gathered in the scene. 26 others were injured.
Mardin deputy and spokeswoman for the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Ebru Gunay, reacted to the incident stating that it was caused by neglect.
"This is a catastrophe and it is the result of a chain of neglect," Gunay said. "This is a main street, recently narrowed down to a single lane, which also serves as a transport route for trucks. After the first accident no instant measures have been taken although a crowd gathered in the scene, and only half an hour later the second accident took place."
Underlining that both trucks were operated by a Cengiz Holding, Gunay added:
"Everyone is aware that the required controls concerning the tonnage of freight transported by these trucks and their maintenance are never properly made. Everyone knows that these trucks are occasionally involved in fatal accidents."
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said that a thorough investigation into the incident has been launched, adding: "All possible contributory factors, including neglect, will be investigated."
Cengiz Holding is one of the five large Turkish business groups -called "the gang of five" by the opposition over the privilege they enjoy because of close relations with the political administration- which earned billions of dollars in government contracts awarded without competition.
The five groups reportedly earned contracts worth $204 billion in the course of 10 years between 2011-2021.