Baby Dies in Ambulance Fire in Turkey After Oxygen Tanks Explode

Baby Dies in Ambulance Fire in Turkey After Oxygen Tanks Explode
Stock photo of an ambulance.
Tom Ozimek

A 3-month-old infant has died in an ambulance fire on a Turkish highway.

The vehicle caught fire after an oxygen tank exploded in the back, while it was on the Trans-European Motorway in Istanbul, Turkey, the Mirror reported.

The baby girl was in an incubator in the ambulance when tragedy struck. The Mirror reported she was likely left behind in the confusion as her mother and the paramedics fled from the fire.

Photographs and video taken by passersby and shared on social media show a thick plume of black smoke pouring out of the burning ambulance.

According to local media via the Mirror, the grief-stricken mother had to be sedated after discovering her child was not rescued from the flames.

She was cited in the report as saying that rather than save her baby, the paramedics fled for their own lives.

"Paramedics got out and I also jumped out of the ambulance, the woman said in a statement via the Mirror.

"The paramedics could not get in to save my baby and ran away. There were three people in there with my daughter, but when the fire started there was no one."

The report said the police would investigate.

Mother and 11-year-old Daughter Killed in Head-On Crash

In related news, North Carolina deputies said a woman and her 11-year-old daughter were killed when their vehicle collided head-on with a tractor-trailer.
North Carolina State Patrol officials were cited by WTVD as saying that 46-year-old Venita Greene Vandergriff was tragically killed when her SUV crossed the center line on U.S. 421 North in Harnett County and struck the semi.

The deadly collision took place in the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 21.

Vandergriff and her 11-year-old were pronounced dead on the scene, WNCN reported, while the little girl's twin sister, who was also in the car at the time of the accident, was taken to hospital with undisclosed injuries.
WRAL reported the surviving twin was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in serious condition.

According to WNCN, all three occupants of the 2005 Dodge were wearing seat belts.

The child that was killed was sitting directly behind her mother; the girl that survived was sitting in the backseat on the passenger side.

A witness told WTVD that the twin that survived had to be cut out of the wreckage.

Deputies cited by WRAL said the cause of the accident is not known but that they don't suspect alcohol or drugs were a factor.

The tractor-trailer driver, identified as 24-year-old Paul Lanex, suffered minor injuries.

According to CBS17, the driver was treated and released.
Troopers continue to investigate the circumstances of the crash.

Crash Deaths in the United States

Tens of thousands of people are killed and millions injured each year from motor vehicle crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC says these deaths cost more than $380 million in direct medical costs.

The major risk factors for crash deaths in the US are: not using seat belts, car seats, and booster seats (factors in over 9,500 crash deaths); drunk driving (a factor in more than 10,000 crash deaths); and speeding (contributing to more than 9,500 crash deaths).

According to 2017 data from the CDC, the 10 leading causes of death in the United States were: heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, Alzheimer disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide.
 Age-adjusted death rates for the 10 leading causes of death in the United States for the years 2016 and 2017. (CDC)
Age-adjusted death rates for the 10 leading causes of death in the United States for the years 2016 and 2017. (CDC)

These further break down as follows: the most common are unintentional poisoning deaths (58,335), followed by motor vehicle traffic deaths (40,327), and unintentional fall deaths in third place (34,673).

The total number of emergency department visits for unintentional injuries in the United States in 2017 was 30.8 million, according to the CDC.

The 10 leading causes accounted for 74 percent of all deaths in the United States in 2017.

Tom Ozimek is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times. He has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education.