Eighteeen people were killed in a horrific crash in the western province of Isparta, Turkey last week. The accident revealed multiple traffic safety violations including allowing passengers to travel standing up and a lack of vehicle maintenance.
Victims were said to have been simple apple pickers being shuttled to Gelendost, a district of Isparta, from Akşehir, a central Turkish province. At around 7:00 a.m., 45 laborers were piled into a 22-passenger-capacity midibus that was traveling on a winding road when its brakes allegedly failed. The vehicle crashed into a roadside retaining wall and overturned, leaving passengers, glass, and rubble scattered on the road.
Sources said brake failure was likely caused by maximizing weight limit due to a large number of passengers.
Fourteen people died at the scene while three others succumbed to their wounds at the hospitals to which they were taken, and 28 others were injured in the accident. The accident caused a two-hour closure of the road, as bodies were collected and the wreckage of the midibus was removed.
Victims included the driver, a 15-year-old boy and 14 women working at apple orchards. Those who survived the accident were mostly female laborers. They are all from impoverished families and worked for $18 per day.