Nineteen people, including children, were killed on Sunday when a vehicle carrying migrants reportedly heading for EU member Greece plunged off the highway into a waterway in western Turkey, state media said.
The vehicle, believed to be a lorry, was travelling on a highway in the Izmir region close to Izmir airport when it flipped over and fell into the channel several metres below, state-run Anadolu news agency said.
Turkish television pictures showed the stricken wreckage of the vehicle, which was reduced to burned-out metal by the impact of the crash as large numbers of emergency service personnel descended on the scene. The nationality of the migrants was not made clear.
The DHA news agency said that the vehicle was headed for the coast of the Izmir region, from where the migrants planned to take a boat to Greece’s Samos island.
Samos is just a few kilometres north of Turkey’s Dilek peninsula that juts out from the Izmir region.
Turkey is a key transit point for migrants from troubled countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa seeking a new life in Europe.
While the numbers have fallen over the past couple of years, people are still undertaking what is a highly perilous journey in search of greener pastures.