Police beat family members of train crash victims outside courtroom

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TEKIRDAG, TURKEY - JULY 8: A drone photo shows the scene after several bogies of a passenger train derailed at the Sarilar village of Tekirdag’s Corlu district on July 8, 2018. The train was traveling from Uzunkopru, Edirne province to Istanbul. Hakan Mehmet Sahin / Anadolu Agency

The family members of the victims of a deadly train accident were reportedly beaten by the police inside a Tekirdağ courthouse while the trial of rail workers accused of negligence in the derailment was under way, according to the Diken news website.

The grieving relatives became involved in an altercation with the police after protesting their exclusion from the courtroom during which the police reportedly beat them with batons.

The hearing ended when the panel of judges recused itself from the case for unknown reasons and referred it to another high criminal court in the district.

In a video shared on Twitter by YolTV, one woman who reportedly lost her daughter in the accident was seen showing the defendants the shredded trousers worn by her daughter when she died.

In July 2018 the Çorlu district of the northwestern province of Tekirdağ was the scene of a train crash that claimed the lives of 25 people, injuring 328 others.

Four railway employees responsible for maintenance, repair and yearly inspection of the tracks are standing trial and face up to 15 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.

Tekirdağ Governor Mehmet Ceylan had announced immediately after the crash that the derailment was caused by heavy rain.

The Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications later said in a statement that the accident occurred after the track slipped due to torrential rain.

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