12 policemen have been injured after a government bus carrying members of Turkey’s riot police force was involved in an accident on Friday in Turkey’s capital, Istanbul.
The accident appears to have been caused by foggy weather, said local media sources. Heavy fog in the Istanbul area has led to dangerous driving conditions since Thursday. The police bus rolled over on the TEM motorway in the Maslak neighbourhood of Istanbul on Friday morning, when the bus was approaching the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge. According to eye witness reports, it appears that the bus driver was not able to see the guard rail on the side of the road, and the bus hit into the rail and tipped over. 12 riot police officers were injured, two of them seriously.
Rescue services arrived rapidly on the scene and worked to rescue the trapped passengers from inside the wreckage of the bus. Those who were injured were transported by ambulance and by some of their co workers to local hospitals, where they are recovering from their injuries. Hospital spokespeople have not yet released a report on the condition of the patients.
Two lanes of traffic on the highway heading in the Ankara direction were closed after the accident, while the wreckage was cleared and the accident scene was investigated. The road closure, which lasted almost two hours, caused significant delays on the highway, adding to the traffic pile up that has been caused by the bad weather in the city.
Istanbul’s heavy fog has caused a number of serious accidents since it settled on the city on Thursday. Most recently, a pile up involving multiple cars occurred on the Basin Ekspres on the Ikitelli Basaksehir route, causing significant delays after one lane of traffic was closed. Fortunately no one was seriously injured in the pile up.
Although the fog has been indicated as the most likely cause of the accident, an investigation will be conducted into the bus driver’s conduct on the drive.
A number of public transport methods have also been influenced by the fog. The local ferry service, Istanbul City Lines, was forced to cancel certain routes on Friday morning due to the bad weather conditions and poor visibility. In addition, a number of flights were delayed after the fog made it difficult for planes to take off from Istanbul International Airport. Weather experts say they cannot be certain when the fog will clear or what caused the unusually heavy fog.