Istanbul, Mar 13: Thirteen people including children were killed and 20 others injured on Tuesday when a Turkish passenger bus burst into flames after colliding with a truck in northern Anatolia, state media reported.
The bus, which was travelling from Istanbul to the northern city of Tokat, hit the truck on a motorway in Corum province early in the morning, according to the government-run Andalou news agency. Medical teams and fire engines rushed to the scene.
Pictures showed that the bus had been reduced to a burnt-out shell by the fire that erupted after the crash. The local governor's office said the truck was parked on the motorway hard shoulder when the bus hit. It added that an investigation had been launched into the accident.
Local mayor Hamza Karatas said children were among the dead without providing precise details, the private Dogan news agency reported. One of the injured, Emine Gungor, who was rescued from the accident with her baby, said all the passengers in the bus had been sleeping.
"It was only me who was awake and I was looking after my kid," she was quoted as saying by Anadolu.
"Then I heard the sound of an explosion and all the windows were smashed, and the bus began shaking. The back of the vehicle began burning," she said.
"Then an elderly man broke the window and we tried to go outside." Turkey has a dire road safety record with nearly 500,000 accidents and 3,530 people killed in 2017, according to official statistics published by state media.
In January, 11 people were killed when a Turkish intercity bus taking families bound for a half-term skiing trip crashed into trees while travelling on a motorway from the capital Ankara to the western city of Bursa.