Turkish flooding kills 31

Sept. 9, 2009 at 1:46 PM
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ISTANBUL, Turkey, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Thirty-one people, including 24 on the streets of Istanbul, have been killed by flooding in northwestern Turkey, officials said Wednesday.

Turkish Interior Minister Besir Atalay said the death toll jumped by 21 Wednesday in the wake of floods triggered by heavy rains that began falling Monday night, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported.

Atalay said seven female textile factory workers died when a shuttle van they were riding in was inundated and 10 truck drivers drowned while sleeping in an Istanbul parking lot.

Those deaths came after three people were found dead Tuesday and eight others were reported missing. Cars in Istanbul's industrial Ikitelli neighborhood were stranded by the floodwaters, which forced people in the vehicles to clamber onto the car roofs to await rescue by helicopter.

Turkish architecture experts told Hurriyet that Istanbul suffered high casualties because of its unplanned, rapid urbanization and builders' disregard for nature in their designs.

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