ISTANBUL: Fifteen Turkish agricultural workers, most of them women, were killed on Monday when their vehicle collided with a truck transporting milk in the west of the country, officials said.
The workers were on their way to pick vine leaves from a plantation in the Golmarmara district of the western Aegean region of Manisa, the local governor, Erdogan Bektas, was quoted as saying by Turkish news agency.
Fifteen people were killed, including 13 women, Bektas said. The driver of the milk tanker however survived the accident and is being treated in hospital.
“According to the information we received, the driver of the milk tanker went into the wrong lane and crashed into the truck carrying the workers,” he said.
Reports said that the driver of the milk tanker had fallen asleep on the wheel. Prosecutors have opened an investigation.
Turkey has a dire road safety record and accidents often involve vehicles carrying low-paid seasonal agricultural workers, many of whom are women.
In October 2014, 17 people, mostly women, were killed and 29 injured when an overloaded bus carrying agricultural workers crashed in the Isparta region of southern Turkey.