Turkey: Bus carrying migrants crashes, tumbles into ditch and catches fire. 12 dead, 26 injured.

A bus carrying illegal migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan crashed in eastern Turkey, killing at least 12 people and injuring 26 others, according to local authorities.

The crash occurred on Sunday morning in Van province’s Muradiye district near the Turkish border with Iran, where the vehicle caught fire after tumbling into a ditch, Reuters reported.

While the victims are yet to be identified, the owner of the bus was arrested.

Television broadcasts showed survivors being treated by the roadside as emergency workers sifted through the burnt-out wreckage.

Body bags could be seen by the wreckage, and personal items were strewn nearby.

Migrants, mostly from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, regularly cross the Iranian border into Turkey on foot before being ferried west to cities such as Istanbul and Ankara.

The planned US withdrawal from Afghanistan has given added impetus to young men trying the mountainous route, according to the Ankara-based Center for Asylum and Migration Studies.

In June 2020, more than 60 migrants drowned in Lake Van when their boat sank.